23rd March 2017
HMRC Tax Investigation
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have the authority to investigate your tax activities if they have reason to believe that you have evaded tax payments. If you are subject to an HMRC investigation, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a solicitor at your earliest convenience and we will deal with your case throughout the entire process. We are available to represent you anywhere within the country and can instruct specialist tax advisors and forensic accountants if needed.
Free Initial Telephone Consultation
Our Tax Defence team are here to take the worry off your hands. We can provide an initial telephone consultation to see how we can assist in your case. Please call us on 0808 168 5550 and ask to speak to Steve Kirby or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HMRC Investigation Procedure
An investigation by HMRC into your tax affairs can take many forms. If HMRC have reason to believe that tax has potentially not been paid, then you are likely to initially be contacted by letter. Depending on the nature of the investigation, HMRC can ask for information in a number of different ways. This includes requesting a range of business records and/or, attempting to arrange formal and informal meetings. Irrespective of the request being made from HMRC, it is essential to take advice before advancing any information. It is quite possible that you are not required to provide any information and it is strongly advised that you seek legal advice as soon as you are contacted. HMRC will respect your right to consult a solicitor and should allow you the time to take proper advice.
Why would you be investigated?
HMRC’s ability to gather intelligence has improved greatly over recent years, often drawing on many sources of information to identify areas of concern. HMRC can look as far back as they wish into your financial history, and quite often HMRC will consider your financial affairs for the last 20 years. Regardless, such enquiries are rarely as straight forward as owing a liability, as reasons for an investigation taking place include:
- Being located in an industry that is well known to HMRC for tax fraud
- Your financial activity becomes ‘high risk’ in the eyes of HMRC e.g. Your income has taken a substantial increase
- Financial records do not match – such as your income into your bank account and the amount declared to HMRC
- Information and intelligence from third parties
- Random investigations are taking place
Depending on the circumstances, a tax investigation enforced by HMRC can vary in duration; it could be as simple as one letter or months of HMRC asking for various documents and other information. If they find evidence that you have intentionally evaded tax and committed fraud, then they have the authority to interview you under caution, summons you to court and prosecute you. If you are found guilty HMRC can seek to recover the tax evaded through confiscation and compensation orders. Such orders are extremely draconian and must not be underestimated as a part of the process.
For all these reasons and more, it is important to manage such enquiries with professional support to seek to conclude any such investigations as quickly as possible.
What punishment could you receive?
The punishment you could potentially receive depends on the circumstances of the case. If you have been found guilty of intentionally evading paying a substantial amount of tax, then you could face a custodial sentence. More commonly, HMRC will conduct civil penalties, where you will be ordered to pay back all of the tax that you owe on top of substantial interest and penalties.
Who are HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)?
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a non-ministerial department of the UK government that oversees various financial responsibilities, most notably the collection of taxes. The department is responsible for the administration and collection of various taxes including income tax and corporation tax while also helping families and individuals with targeted financial support such as the distributions of tax credits including child benefits. Their overall aim is to therefore ensure that we are taxed the right amount and to make it as difficult as possible for people to take advantage of the tax system.
How we can help
If you have been contacted by HMRC, our experienced Tax Defence Solicitors are available to put forward your case in the best possible light and advise you throughout the entire process. We are here to take the worry off your hands.
Given the broad area of law surrounding tax fraud, we will ensure to deal with your case by finding all of the facts and circumstances.
Our team are highly ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides. We have extensive experience in successfully defending businesses and individuals accused of fraud.
Why Choose Us?
At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the stress and worry being accused of tax fraud can cause and the potential long term consequences that can affect you, your business and your family life. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explain the likely outcomes and fight on your behalf.
How to make contact
If you require any legal advice or if you would like a no obligation, free initial telephone discussion, then please call us on 0808 168 5550 and ask to speak to Steve Kirby. Alternatively you can email the Fraud team on email@example.com and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Our Tax Defence Solicitors can provide advice across the country and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in London, Birmingham, Bedford, Bolton, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, Luton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Gateshead, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield and Wellingborough
- Mark Hopwell — Head of Department
- Andrew Brammer — Head of Regulatory
- Sundeep Soor — Head of Tax & Fraud
- Richard Cornthwaite — Head of White Collar Crime (London)
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You can always call us on 0808 168 5550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
22nd March 2017
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