Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Taxing Time for Treasury

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Taxing Time for Treasury

Article excerpt

Byline: By Andrew Woodcock

Tax credits which could total millions of pounds were paid to immigrants who were not entitled to receive them, it was reported today.

An Inland Revenue document obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act suggested that some 2,700 migrants were wrongly paid the credits because officials were told to overlook irregularities in their claims.

Between April 2003 and December 2004, officials at the Revenue were instructed not to investigate cases of migrant claimants who had failed an important UK residency rule, reported Radio 4's Today programme.

The officials were told to process the claims so long as they came with a National Insurance number, the programme said.

According to unconfirmed BBC calculations, the total cost of the decision could amount to around pounds 2.7m a year.

Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesman David Laws said he would table questions in Parliament to find out who made the decision to order officials to process the claims. …

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