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HMRC Criminal Investigation

What is an HMRC criminal investigation?

A HMRC criminal investigation can take place either when tax fraud occurs involving criminal activity, or when the taxman wants to send out a strong deterrent message.

A criminal investigation is different to a civil investigation. A civil investigation allows the taxpayer to disclose any irregularities in their own tax affairs or the affairs of anyone they are responsible for. A criminal investigation can occur if a civil investigation yields further irregularities.

What are some of the situations where the HMRC would carry out a criminal investigation?

Some examples of when a HMRC criminal investigation would take place are:

  • When organised criminal gangs attack the tax system or carry out systematic frauds where losses represent a serious threat to the tax base.
  • Where materially false statements are made or materially false documents are provided in the course of a civil investigation.
  • Where, pursuing an avoidance scheme, reliance is placed on a false or altered document or such reliance or material facts are misrepresented to enhance the credibility of a scheme.
  • Where deliberate deception, concealment, conspiracy or corruption is suspected
  • In cases involving the use of false or forged documents.
  • In cases involving importation or exportation breaching prohibitions and restrictions.
  • 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.
  • Where the perpetrator has committed previous offences or there is a repeated course of unlawful conduct or previous civil action.
  • In cases involving theft, or the misuse or unlawful destruction of HMRC documents.
  • Where there is evidence of assault on, threats to, or the impersonation of HMRC officials.

What to do if a criminal investigation is launched against you by the HMRC

Any investigation carried out by the HMRC is a serious matter. It can be very time-consuming, stressful and ultimately expensive. Some investigations can result in prison sentences.

We can help you reach the best possible outcome as quickly and as stress-free as possible. Contact Us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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