HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been stepping up its momentum in cracking down on tax fraud, with individuals increasingly being targeted for investigation and prosecution. Business organisations bear an increasingly heavy regulatory burden, having to comply with numerous rules and regulations ranging from health and safety to trading standards and the environment agency.
If you are facing investigations related to HMRC contact the specialist regulatory and criminal defence lawyers at Qamar Solicitors urgently.
There is an increasing focus on individuals’ undeclared income, or in individuals or businesses involved in and investing in tax mitigation arrangements that do not meet HMRC’s approval. There is a number of scenarios in which HMRC may investigate, including:
Organised criminal tax activity
VAT and tax fraud or evasion/avoidance schemes
Where there is deliberate conspiracy, deception, concealment or corruption suspected
False or forged documents are being used
Non-declaration of tax
Non-declaration or suppression of income
Foreign income and offshore accounts
False tax returns
Civil and criminal approaches
HMRC has traditionally dealt with tax and VAT fraud through its Civil Investigation of Fraud (CIF) procedures. However, it is now conducting far more investigations using its exceptional powers of investigation and prosecution which can result in criminal prosecutions. HMRC investigations can be complex and taking early advice is your best chance of a successful outcome.
HMRC investigations for suspected tax fraud are stressful and intrusive and may lead to a criminal conviction and severe financial penalties - with serious implications for you or your business. We take a sympathetic but robust approach to clients facing tax fraud charges.
What happens next?
HMRC may invite you for a formal interview under caution and an investigating office from the Special Compliance Office will contact you. That officer will obtain a warrant to search your premises and a search will then follow.
We are available to assist individuals and businesses early in an investigation and at the various subsequent stages. Investigations may include searches of premises, dawn raids, court orders for access to records and communications and so on. Each client’s case is unique and we take a tailored approach depending on our client’s particularly circumstances. Sometime this required an aggressive approach to ensure our clients are treated fairly.
We use our experience to protect you from criminal prosecution as far as possible throughout an investigation. Our aim is to take a strategic approach with you (involving tax specialists where necessary) helping you to resolve you tax issues as early as possible. We will ensure that when we represent you, any penalties imposed are kept as low as possible.
It is possible to appeal a decision made by HMRC, and a successful challenge can lead to a reduced penalty. However, expert representation is vital. The tax experts in the criminal defence team at Qamar Solicitors will provide specialist advice and representation. If we advise you that you have sufficient grounds to appeal, we will take a robust approach in presenting your case to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
How can we help?
When it is in our clients’ best interests, we also work with specialist professionals, including forensic accountants and tax specialists, to resolve disputes quickly. Where criminal or civil proceedings are unavoidable, we represent our clients at Tribunal proceedings and in the courts. Contact the criminal defence lawyers at Qamar Solicitors immediately for urgent specialist legal advice.