Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (‘HMRC’) has, in recent years, received criticism arising from the low level of criminal prosecutions it has pursued in the face of the substantial level of offences committed.

In response, HMRC has updated its Criminal Investigations Policy (‘the Policy’).

Hamraj Kang and Timothy Thompson of Kangs Solicitors comment upon this update.   

HMRC Statement | Kangs Tax Defence Solicitors   

The Policy opens with the following statement:

HMRC aims to secure the highest level of compliance with the law and regulations governing direct and indirect taxes and other regimes for which they’re responsible. Criminal investigation, with a view to prosecution, is an important part of HMRC’s overall enforcement strategy.

The Policy | Kangs HMRC Criminal Defence Solicitors

HMRC will consider commencing a criminal investigation where:

  • organised criminal gangs attack the tax system or there are systematic frauds where losses represent a serious threat to the tax base, including conspiracy,
  • an individual holds a position of trust or responsibility,
  • materially false statements are made or materially false documents are provided in the course of a civil investigation,
  • in the pursuit of an avoidance scheme, reliance is placed on a false or altered document or material facts are misrepresented to enhance the credibility of a scheme,
  • deliberate concealment, deception, conspiracy or corruption is suspected,
  • any case involves the use of false or forged documents,
  • any case involves importation or exportation, breaching prohibitions and restrictions,
  • any case involves money laundering with particular focus on advisors, accountants, solicitors and others acting in a ‘professional’ capacity who provide the means to move ‘tainted money’ beyond the reach of UK law enforcement,
  • the perpetrator has committed previous offences, there is a repeated course of unlawful conduct or previous civil action,
  • any case involves theft, misuse or unlawful destruction of HMRC documents,
  • there is evidence of assault on, threats to, or the impersonation of HMRC officials,
  • there is a link to suspected wider criminality, whether domestic or international, involving offences not under the administration of HMRC.

How Can We Assist? | Kangs Financial Offences Defence Solicitors

Who Should I Contact? | Kangs Criminal and Civil Tax Offences Defence Solicitors

Should you or your company require any assistance in respect of any issue of the nature outlined above, please do not hesitate to contact our team through any of the following:

Hamraj Kang
hkang@kangssolicitors.co.uk
07976 258171 | 020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888

John Veale
jveale@kangssolicitors.co.uk
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396

Tim Thompson
tthompson@kangssolicitors.co.uk
020 7936 6396 | 0121 449 9888