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HMRC Criminal Investigation
If HMRC has looked into your accounts and tax related affairs as part of a civil investigation and, as a result of their findings, believe you to be involved in taxation fraud involving criminal activity, it’s likely that they will launch a criminal investigation into your behaviour.
You will have had the opportunity to disclose the reasons behind any irregularities in your tax affairs, but if you fail to do so, or the information you provide is insufficient or appears to be false, dishonest or deceitful to those handling your case, you will probably face HMRC criminal investigation procedure.
How Can DPP Business & Tax Help?
The specialist HMRC criminal investigation solicitors employed by DPP Business & Tax have a comprehensive understanding of HMRC criminal investigation powers, and can help you to gather strong and compelling evidence to help prove your innocence at a court hearing. They’ll also look through all of your documentation and accounts, interview witnesses and work alongside you to fully understand your case. Vitally, they’ll also provide expert legal representation throughout your dealings with HMRC and any appearances in court.
Matters Related to HMRC Criminal Investigations
HMRC criminal investigation powers are likely to be called upon if investigators believe you are guilty of:
- Tax fraud or tax evasion
- Cheating the public revenue
- Taxation fraud related to crime or organised crime
- Making false financial statements or providing false, dishonest or forged documentation
- Deception, concealment, conspiracy or corruption
- The illegal importation or exportation of goods (e.g. the evasion of customs duties)
- Money laundering
- Any previous taxation related offences
It is possible that you may face a considerable fine or even a prison sentence upon being found guilty of taxation fraud or other offences related to your tax affairs. The majority of the offences above are punishable by a fine – sometimes of an unlimited amounts – or a maximum custodial sentence of seven years in prison. However, the crime of cheating the public revenue may, in rare cases, see the perpetrator jailed for life. For this reason, contacting experienced HMRC criminal investigation solicitors as soon as you learn that you are being investigated by HMRC should be a matter of urgency.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can HMRC conduct a criminal investigation?
HMRC criminal investigation powers will be called upon if a civil investigation into your tax related affairs has revealed behaviour that is potentially intentionally dishonest and constitutes fraud or other criminal activity.
How long does a criminal investigation take?
A HMRC criminal investigation procedure is usually completed within 12 months, though this depends on the complexity of the case in question and your willingness to comply with what they ask of you.
What are the outcomes of a HMRC criminal investigation?
If you and your HMRC criminal investigation solicitors are able to prove that any mistakes in your tax returns or payments were accidental (in which case, you may be required to rectify the issues in question and pay a fine or any outstanding amounts) or that there was no mistake in the first place, the investigation may be dropped altogether. However, if you are found to be guilty of criminal offences in relation to your tax returns, you may face an unlimited fine or up to seven years in prison – and sometimes even more.
As soon as you receive a HMRC criminal investigation letter notifying you that your affairs are being scrutinised, it’s vitally important that you make contact with DPP Business & Tax’s HMRC criminal investigation solicitors. We have over 30 years’ worth of experience in successfully representing clients who have been, or are currently being investigated by HMRC, and our skilled legal experts will ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Get in touch with us today.