Taxi expense fraud rife amongst UK employees

Almost one in three employees admit to asking for blank taxi receipts to submit inflated taxi expenses to top up their wages.

Results from a survey of over 1000 exployees based in the UK who used taxi cabs for work purposes found that 31% added extra money to their receipts.

The survey, carried out by OnePoll on behalf of expense management company Spendvision, showed that 23% would typically ask cab drivers for blank receipts so they can add extra pounds before submitting their claims for expenses. It also revealed that one in ten employees filed for taxi rides completely unrelated to work.

Geographically there were some differences also. According to the research, workers in the North East were the most dishonest – with 45% willing to fill in blank taxi receipts with exaggerated fares or claims on taxi rides that have nothing to do with work. The North West was runner up with 44% admitting they had made incorrect or inaccurate claims for travel.

Results for the East Midlands proved the most favourable, with workers from that region said to be the least likely to submit false claims.

“The cash-based nature of taxi travel is clearly a weak link, leaving employers with no choice but to put their faith in the honesty of their employees,” said Shane Bruhns, chief executive officer and director at Spendvision. “From our research, we found employees who regularly pay for taxi fares by card are half as likely to submit a false claim as those who pay in cash”.

One sector not being hurt directly by these fraudulent claims of course are the taxi drivers themselves. On the contrary, if any driver provides a blank receipt for a customer he’s likely to receive a bigger tip, a pleasant bonus when struggling under the weight of taxi insurance, increased fuel and maintenance costs.

It appears until contactless payments become more widespread card this method of “acceptable fraud” will just continue.

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