HMRC Criminal Investigations
Even during the current Covid-19 pandemic, HMRC have not made any announcements that they are placing a hold on this area of work. Current Investigations are still moving and HMRC officers continue to take action. Any communication from HMRC in this area should still be treated with priority and advice taken as to how to respond given many firms and individuals maybe operating with significantly reduced resources.
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If you have received an HMRC criminal investigation letter, it means you are suspected of tax fraud. If you wish to argue your innocence, you must pursue the matter in court. At Altion Law, we provide advice to those who have received an HMRC criminal investigation letter. We can explain what it means and what your options are. If you believe there has been a mistake, we can represent you throughout legal proceedings, including should you need to be interviewed at a police station with a solicitor present. These are often time sensitive and complex matters.
We strongly advise you to contact us as a matter of urgency so that we can explain your legal rights and option. For a confidential discussion with a member of our team, please call us now on 01908 414990 or complete an Online Enquiry.
Criminal or Civil HMRC Investigation?
When HMRC suspects tax fraud, it conducts either a civil investigation or a criminal investigation. While it is considered the norm to pursue a civil investigation, it is HMRC’s policy to pursue a criminal investigation if –
- It wishes to send a strong deterrent message
- It believes the alleged conduct warrants a criminal sanction
If you receive a notice relating to COP9 – Contractual Disclosure Facility Process, this relates to a Civil Investigation and you can find more detail around the timescales and processes at our separate dedicated page HMRC COP9 Investigations.
HMRC criminal investigations are on the rise. This is largely because of government targets to triple the number of criminal investigations into serious tax crimes by 2020. ‘Serious’ means the alleged fraud is worth £50,000 or more.To help HMRC achieve this goal, it has been given specific criminal investigation powers.
These include –
- Applying for Court Orders, requiring information to be produced
- Applying for, and executing, search warrants
- Searching suspects and premises
- Recovering criminal assets
- Making arrests
Nevertheless, HMRC cannot decide whether to prosecute an individual – it can only investigate. The final decision lies with Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Altion Law can assist you if you are concerned about a potential HMRC criminal prosecution. If you would like to have a confidential discussion with a member of our team, if you complete our contact us form, we will call you back at a time that is suitable for you or you can contact us directly on 01908 414990.
- What Happens If You Are Suspected of Serious Tax Fraud?
- What Happens If I Am Criminally Investigated by HMRC for Tax Fraud?
- What Happens If I Am Criminally Investigated For Serious Tax Fraud?
- What Powers Does HMRC Have To Investigate Tax Fraud?
- Can HMRC Use Intrusive Surveillance?
- What is HMRC’s Criminal Investigation Policy?
- Why is HMRC Using the Criminal Prosecution Route More Often?
- When Will HMRC Will Carry Out A Criminal Rather Than Civil Investigation?
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