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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, this can either be by way of a civil investigation with the focus on interest and penalties, or a criminal investigation with the focus on a criminal prosecution, sentence and confiscation. Such investigations are often conducted by the Fraud Investigation Service (FIS).

At Cartwright King, we understand that HMRC do not always get it right, and mistakes can be made when dealing with your tax. If you are subject to an investigation from HMRC, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a solicitor at your earliest convenience and we will deal with your case sensibly and professionally whilst advising you throughout the entire legal process. We are available to represent you anywhere within the country.

Free Initial Telephone Consultation

Our highly skilled tax 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. For more information, please call us on 0808 168 5550 or email

HMRC Investigation Procedure

If HMRC have reason to believe that tax has potentially not been paid, then you are likely to receive a letter from them. During the initial stages of the investigation, typically a “compliance investigation”, they will ask you to submit a range of business records while also attempting to arrange an informal meeting. It is essential to know that it may not be compulsory for you to perform either of these actions and it is strongly advised that you seek legal advice as soon as you receive a letter.

Why would you be investigated?

HMRC can look as far back as they wish, typically when “fraud” is alleged they can look back 20 years into your tax activity. It is not always as straight forward as HMRC believing that money is owed as the reason for an investigation taking place. It can include;

  • Being located in an area that is well known to HMRC for tax fraud
  • A material change in your finances
  • A link to other individuals or business that are under investigation
  • 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 many months of HMRC asking for various documents and other information. If HMRC believe they have evidence that you have intentionally evaded tax and committed fraud, then they have the option to instigate a criminal investigation.

What could the outcome be?

The potential outcomes of an investigation by HMRC vary significantly, from a civil case being closed very quickly with no further action, to a lengthy and protracted criminal prosecution. We will fight for cases to be brought to a close a quickly as possible with the best possible outcome for you.

If you are to undergo a HMRC tax investigation, it is essential that you seek expert legal advice as early as possible. In some very limited cases the tax payer can be interviewed under caution, and you are entitled in law to be legally represented at the Police Station.

You should always insist that HMRC contact Cartwright King and not speak to them until you have had chance to consult with one of our experienced team. Cartwright King’s Defence Solicitors are available to advise you through the legal proceedings and represent you in court if necessary making sure that the strongest defence case is put forward for you.

Who are the 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. 

HMRC have their own investigation officers in the Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) who have the legal authority of arrest, entry, search and detention. HMRC cases can be investigated by HMRC officers alone, or alongside the police.

How we can help

If you have been contacted by HMRC then our Tax Defence Solicitors are available to argue your case and advise you throughout the entire process. We will;

  • Advise you throughout the entire process
  • Represent you in meetings and interviews with HMRC
  • Prepare and collate all required documents for HMRC
  • Represent you in court or tribunal if necessary
  • Take the worry off your hands

Our team are highly ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides. We have extensive experience in successfully defending businesses and individuals.

Why Choose Us?

At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the stress and worry being accused of tax fraud and tax irregularities 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. Alternatively you can email the team on and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Our Fraud 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 BirminghamBedfordBoltonDerbyLeedsLeicesterLondon TempleLondon Fleet StreetLutonManchesterMiddlesbroughMilton KeynesNewcastleNorthamptonNottinghamOxfordSheffield and Worcester.


For further information please get in touch with our dedicated team.

You can always call us on 0845 894 1622 or email on


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