HMRC Criminal Investigations is responsible for investigating serious tax fraud and other financial crimes.
Receiving an HMRC criminal investigation letter is a serious matter, indicating that you are under suspicion of committing tax fraud. Such allegations can have significant legal and financial implications.
If you believe that you have been wrongly accused, it is essential to take immediate action. Arguing your innocence requires a formal legal process, and you will need to defend your position in court.
It is highly recommended to seek legal advice and representation to navigate the complexities of the investigation and ensure your rights are protected.
We highly recommend reaching out to us promptly to understand your legal rights and choices. For a private conversation with one of our experts, call: 01246 912052 or fill out our Online Enquiry form.
Are Investigations by HMRC Civil Or Criminal?
When HMRC believes there’s potential tax fraud, it can initiate either a civil or a criminal probe. Typically, a civil investigation is the standard route. However, HMRC will opt for a criminal investigation if –
- It aims to set a powerful cautionary example.
- It feels the suspected behavior deserves criminal penalties.
HMRC Criminal Investigations
The frequency of HMRC Criminal Investigations has been increasing. This uptick is primarily due to the government’s objective to triple the investigations into severe tax offenses by 2020.
By ‘severe’, it refers to alleged frauds amounting to £50,000 or more. To facilitate this aim, HMRC has been endowed with distinct Criminal Investigation authorities.
These encompass –
- Seeking Court Orders for the production of necessary information.
- Requesting and implementing search warrants.
- Inspecting suspects and their properties.
- Retrieving assets related to criminal activities.
- Conducting arrests. However, the authority to decide on prosecutions doesn’t rest with HMRC – their role is solely investigative. The ultimate decision is in the hands of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
If you’re apprehensive about a potential HMRC criminal charge, we are here to guide you. For a discreet conversation with one of our specialists, please fill out our Contact Us Form. We’ll get back to you at a convenient time, or you can directly reach us at 01246 912052
What Happens If You Are Suspected Of Serious Tax Fraud?
Upon receiving an HMRC criminal investigation letter, it’s crucial to seek legal advice without delay. You have a limited window of 60 days to determine your next steps.
This decision is significant and shouldn’t be made hastily. Consult with our legal team to evaluate whether accepting or declining HMRC’s proposal is in your best interest. Should you choose to decline the offer, we’re here to guide and back you during the impending investigation and legal proceedings.
We understand the anxiety and stress you’re experiencing. To provide clarity on your predicament, we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions available for download
What Happens If I Am Criminally Investigated By HMRC for tax fraud
If you are criminally investigated by HMRC for tax fraud, it signifies that HMRC believes there is evidence of deliberate wrongdoing on your part concerning tax matters.
Such an investigation is initiated when HMRC suspects serious tax evasion or fraud that may warrant criminal prosecution. During the investigation, HMRC will thoroughly scrutinize your financial records, transactions, and other relevant documents to gather evidence.
You may be interviewed, and in some cases, your premises might be searched. It’s essential to cooperate fully with the investigation, but it’s equally crucial to seek legal representation to ensure your rights are protected.
If HMRC finds substantial evidence, the case may be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for potential prosecution. A conviction can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment, hefty fines, and a criminal record.
What Powers Does HMRC Have To Investigate Tax Fraud?
David is a Solicitor and Chartered Tax Advisor. David has many years experience of advising clients on Regulatory Fraud matters, involving the smallest to the very biggest cases.
He regularly lectures to the City of London Police on these and related issues. He regularly advises on Confiscation and other consequences that flow from money laundering offences