Aside from organised crime cases, some examples of the kind of circumstances in which HMRC will generally consider commencing a criminal rather than a civil investigation are:
- where materially false statements are made or materially false documents are provided in the course of a civil investigation or to enhance the credibility of an avoidance scheme;
- where an individual holds a position of trust or responsibility;
- in cases involving money laundering with particular focus on advisors, accountants, solicitors and others acting in a 'professional' capacity who provide the means to put tainted money out of reach of law enforcement;
- in cases involving theft, or the misuse or un lawful destruction of HMRC documents.
In 2011 HMRC made a commitment to carry out significantly more criminal investigations and the resource investment has resulted in more than 1,000 tax prosecutions per year from 2014.
How can we help?
Being criminally investigated for tax fraud is a serious matter and requires expert tax and legal advice from the earliest possible stage. Our industry-leading expertise in this area contributed to our LexisNexis Best Tax Team in a Law Firm award.
We are proud of our achievements in having criminal investigations down-graded to civil fraud investigations, and the reduction in tax charges as a result of our negotiations with HMRC (and the prosecutor where relevant).
We provide appropriate support, advice, and necessary expertise to tailor a strategic approach, manage the investigation and guide you through the process.
Our team includes expert tax lawyers who can attend interviews under caution and tax and accounting experts who work together to formulate, evidence and articulate your defence. We work closely with barristers (in-house and through close ties with tax specialist chambers) so can provide the full spectrum of representation to clients being criminally investigated by HMRC (or the SFO) for tax-related offences and financial crime.
Our expertise includes providing advice to tax advisers and accountants on their compliance with HMRC's PACE Production Orders. We are also appointed independently by tax advisers and accountants regarding the implications for them, if a client ends up being criminally investigated.
Read more about our Tax Investigations expertise.