Typically, no. HMRC is under increased pressure to utilise the number of criminal prosecutions it undertakes and its naming and shaming powers. Tax fraud is a significant offense, carrying the possibility of imprisonment. Nevertheless, the majority of HMRC's enquiries operate under their civil powers, which means the decision to handle the case through civil procedures with an eye toward a potential financial resolution.
Engaging specialist advisers will ensure criminal prosecution, and the threat of prison time, is avoided.