Have you received a letter from HMRC Fraud Investigation Service?
This is not a normal tax investigation and is only started when HMRC have reasons to believe there is tax fraud or a substantial amount of unpaid tax. Churchill Tax Investigation have years of experience in successfully dealing with HMRC Fraud Investigation Service team and have managed to close a number of tax enquiries conducted by this team.
The policy of HMRC is to launch an investigation for all tax fraud and tax evasion cases applying the procedures within the Contractual Disclosure Facility. However HMRC have the right to conduct a criminal investigation into the tax affairs of any business or individual. Where the tax payer is investigated because it is suspected that they have committed serious tax fraud, HMRC will use COP 9 Contractual Disclosure Facilities. If the business or individual does not cooperate, denies their tax fraud or makes a disclosure that is materially false, HMRC will proceed with a criminal prosecution.
We have specialist skills and expertise in tax investigations and we can prevent many enquiries from escalating into a criminal investigation. Once HMRC have reached the decision to transfer the case from a civil investigation to criminal proceedings it will be passed to HMRC Criminal Taxes Unit. Any legal proceedings will then be processed by the Crown Prosecution Service.
HMRC are likely to prosecute in any instances where the tax payer has:
- Provided any documents or make any statements which are materially false during the process of a HMRC tax investigation
- Deliberately deceive, conspire, conceal or corruption to sway the results of the investigation
- Any case that involves forged or false documents
- Any situation where the individual has been investigated or prosecuted for tax fraud offences
- Individuals who hold a position of responsibility or trust
- Anyone participating in a tax avoidance scheme where they rely on altered or false documents or misrepresented material facts
Any criminal tax investigation will use the Police and Criminal Evidence Act including questioning under caution, surveillance, surrender of passport, freezing of assets, fingerprinting, searches of business and personal properties and Confiscation Orders to name a few. This process can be incredibly stressful and costly to your business, even forcing some to close down entirely.
Churchill Tax Investigations have over 60 years combined experience in tax investigations. Our team include staff who have been previously employed as HMRC investigators and they will use their expertise to help you navigate through the criminal tax investigations process. We have an excellent success rate and have helped some businesses and individuals avoid criminal proceedings all together. Where HMRC do proceed to a criminal investigation and prosecution we have extensive experience working with the best defending solicitors.
We will also review evidence provided by HMRC which often results in lower sentences and reductions in the amount recovered by HMRC through the implementation of a Confiscation Order.
If you are facing any type of criminal investigation over your tax affairs it is important that you seek advice as soon as possible so you can receive the right advice. For a free, confidential discussion about any HMRC Fraud Investigation Service, please contact our specialist tax investigations team today.