HMRC Revenue & Tax Fraud
The firm has been involved in a number of cases where the Inland Revenue have suspected serious tax fraud has taken place.
These situations often arise as part of other unconnected investigations. So, a client may find that when his house is searched for example as part of another investigation that the police find a large amount of cash. It is sometimes the case that the cash represents legitimate earnings but upon which no tax has been paid.
Sometimes the police seize that cash and claim it is derived as a result of criminal conduct and further seek that the cash be confiscated/forfeited. The police have an interest in this because in these cases they get a share of the confiscated funds.
So, on the one hand we have to assist clients in dealing with the police but we have to be aware that in the background the Revenue await the result. It is not, in these circumstances, sufficient for a client to instruct a tax investigation specialist accountant but they need an experienced solicitor to coordinate all the activities.
It would be a dreadful result if the client were to lose the money to the police only to find he still owes tax upon it. It needs a joined up approach. We have been involved in cases where we have invoked the code of practice 9 process and the contractual disclosure facility which avoids the possibility of a criminal prosecution by the Inland Revenue in respect of the tax which they believe has been evaded through fraud.
We need to link that agreement with the application by the police to the court in respect of the actual funds and a compromise can be reached. We have successfully negotiated compromises with the Revenue and have been successful in opposing police confiscation/forfeiture applications.
It is not possible in an article of this length to explain the different provisions but they all concern the Proceeds of Crime Act in one form or another. The definition of Proceeds of Crime is complicated and is not as straightforward as people think. John Ellwood is a member of the specialist solicitors group who deal with Proceeds of Crime cases.
We are hugely experienced, capable and have an outstanding track record of success. If you are involved in an Inland Revenue tax fraud investigation, please contact our Regulatory & White Collar Crime defence team as soon as possible.