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HMRC reveals it foiled fraudster who tried to set up 189 charities

Andrew Edwards, head of charities, tells MPs it also prevented £10m of fraudulent Gift Aid claims last year


HM Revenue & Customs prevented £10m of fraudulent Gift Aid claims last year, including claims from one fraudster who tried to set up 189 fake charities, its head of charities, Andrew Edwards, told MPs yesterday.

Speaking to MPs on the Small Charitable Donations Bill Committee in parliament yesterday, Edwards said his organisation had also helped arrest another fraudster who had stolen more than £500,000 from two charities.

"There is more fraud in the system than we are catching," he said. "People set up hundreds of fake charities and flood us with applications."

Edwards did not say what had happened to the person who attempted to make claims from 189 charities, but mentioned that there were prosecutions in the pipeline against several fraudsters.

He also said that his department had prevented £30m being paid out in error. HMRC distributes more than £1bn a year to charities in Gift Aid. Total tax reliefs to donors and charities are worth more than £3bn.

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