Criminal Tax Investigation

Criminal investigation, with a view to prosecution by the Crown Prosecution Service, is an important part of HMRC’s overall enforcement strategy.

Criminal Investigation will be reserved for cases where HMRC needs to send a strong deterrent message or where the conduct involved is such that only a criminal sanction is appropriate. However, HMRC reserves complete discretion to conduct a criminal investigation in any case and to carry out these investigations across a range of offences and in all the areas for which the Commissioners of HMRC have responsibility.

Examples where HMRC will consider a criminal investigation

  • Cases of organised criminal gangs attacking the tax system or systematic frauds where losses represent a serious threat to the tax base, including conspiracy.
  • Where an individual holds a position of trust or responsibility.
  • 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 concealment, deception, conspiracy or corruption is suspected.
  • Cases involving the use of false or forged documents.
  • In cases involving importation or exportation breaching prohibitions and restrictions.
  • Cases involving money laundering with particular focus on advisers, 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 there is a repeated course of unlawful conduct or previous civil action.
  • Cases involving theft, misuse or unlawful destruction of HMRC documents.
  • Where there is evidence of assault on, threats to, or the impersonation of HMRC officials.
  • Where there is a link to suspected wider criminality, whether domestic or international, involving offences not under the administration of HMRC.

When considering whether a case should be investigated under the CDF procedures or is the subject of a criminal investigation, one factor to be considered is whether the taxpayer has made a complete and unprompted disclosure of the offences committed.

For a face to face meeting with a client services team member, contact us on 0207 183 9448 or email: dilwar.hussain@bts-online.co.uk

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