What Is HMRC’s Criminal Investigation Policy?

Residential Disputes With Builders | Specialist Commercial Law Milton Keynes The aim of HMRC’s Criminal Investigation Policy is to secure the highest level of compliance with the law governing direct and indirect taxes. HMRC is not responsible for criminal prosecutions. In England and Wales, the decision whether to prosecute is made by the Director of Public Prosecutions at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

HMRC’s normal policy is to deal with fraud by use of its more cost-effective civil fraud investigation procedures, called HMRC Code of Practice 9 (COP 9). HMRC’s criminal investigation powers are used in the most serious cases, where HMRC wants to send a strong message to other wrongdoers, or where the conduct is so serious that only a criminal sanction is appropriate.

The number of criminal prosecutions for tax fraud is on the increase. In the tax year ending in April 2018, HMRC took in £608.5 billion in tax revenue. This is a nominal record and it won nine in every 10 prosecutions it initiated. This amassed £37 billion which would have otherwise gone unpaid. A further £6.2 billion in revenue was protected by actively preventing non-compliance.

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