Criminal tax investigation services

Being under criminal tax investigation might leave you feeling like you’re at breaking point, however, not all investigations have to end in tears. Find out the ins-and-outs of criminal tax investigations and how enlisting a specialist adviser can help avoid criminal prosecution.

Get specialist tax investigation help today: +44 (0)20 7710 3389

HMRC is responsible for investigating suspected criminal activity across the breadth of direct and indirect taxes throughout the UK. HMRC’s criminal investigation policy states that it has complete discretion to conduct a criminal tax investigation in any case, particularly where HMRC feels the need to send a “strong deterrent message” or where the case is so serious that only a criminal sanction is appropriate. However, not every criminal tax investigation results in a successful criminal prosecution. 

Historically, HMRC’s policy has been to deal with suspected tax fraud/evasion via its Code of Practice 9 (COP9)/ Contractual Disclosure Facility procedure. But, where a taxpayer under a COP9 investigation rejects HMRC’s offer of the Contractual Disclosure Facility, HMRC reserves the right to reconsider the case as a criminal tax investigation. Additionally, where a taxpayer under a COP9 investigation accepts the Contractual Disclosure Facility offer but makes materially false or incomplete disclosures, HMRC will often feel it has no option but to criminally investigate.

Since 2010/11, HMRC has more than quadrupled its criminal investigation workforce. It is, therefore, inevitable that the number of criminal investigations will continue to increase. Cases that might previously have been dealt with under a COP9 investigation will now face an increased likelihood of being criminally investigated. Critics have also suggested that HMRC has been increasing its prosecutions by focusing on lower complexity cases, some of which concerned less than £50,000 of potential lost revenue.

What should you do?

What should you do?

If you find yourself subject of an HMRC criminal tax investigation, you need specialist representation. 

We provide a discreet and comprehensive service that is tailored to meet your unique needs and protect your interests. We have had great success in changing HMRC’s focus of the investigation from a criminal investigation to a civil one, thus protecting your liberty, reputation and assets.

Should HMRC (or the Crown Prosecution Service) insist on proceeding criminally, we have a proven track record of defending clients. We work closely with some of the UK’s leading criminal defence lawyers to provide you with a multi-disciplined team and the most comprehensive advice and representation.

Our service includes a thorough review of any tax fraud allegation, and any claims/computations put forward by HMRC to suggest alternative interpretations where appropriate. We will present you with all available options and a clear explanation of the potential consequences of each.

Awarded Best Tax Disputes/Investigations Team

Buzzacott’s Tax Investigations and Dispute Resolution team has been honoured as the ‘Best Tax Disputes/Investigations Team’ at the prestigious Tolley’s Taxation Awards 2019. These awards recognise the finest achievements and talents of remarkable individuals and teams across the entire tax profession. The team is led by Mark Taylor, who is a recognised expert on all areas of tax investigations and disputes.

Buzzacott were very professional and took the time to understand and assess my position fully and fairly. They took away the stress of dealing with what could have been a very unpleasant situation. The work they did finally resulted in a positive outcome. I can’t praise their professionalism highly enough.

Get in touch
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If you'd like us to give you a call, fill in your details below and we'll email to arrange a good time to speak to our Head of Tax investigations team, Mark Taylor. All communications are in the strictest confidence.

If you'd prefer to speak to our team directly, please call +44 (0)20 7710 3389.

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