MP praises new tax cyber team

Exchequer Secretary David Gauke, MP for South West Herts
Exchequer Secretary David Gauke, MP for South West Herts

A HERTS MP and government treasury minister has backed the creation of a new team to tackle organised online tax crime.

The newly-created team will protect HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from attempted fraud by cyber criminals who are using increasingly sophisticated ways to target HMRC’s repayment systems.

Hertfordshire South West MP David Gauke, the Exchequer Secretary, said: “As more and more of HMRC’s systems move online, cyber criminals will look to exploit any opportunity to attack the repayment system.

“HMRC is getting ahead of the curve – taking forward what it is already doing in a better way. In the last year alone, customers reported over 200,000 bogus emails purporting to come from HMRC and, as a result, HMRC shut down close to 1,000 bogus websites.”

The new cyber team will provide HMRC with a better awareness of the nature of the threat by using specialist forensic tools to exploit intelligence. Giving expert advice on keeping HMRC services secure, they will provide technical expertise to criminal investigators and present intelligence to operational risk and security teams.

The new team comes as a result of the government’s £917million spending review investment to tackle tax evasion, avoidance and fraud from 2011/12, which aims to raise an additional £7bn each year by 2014/15, and funding from the national Cyber Security Programme.

As well as the creation of the specialist cyber crime team, HMRC will be using more technology to stop criminal behaviour.