Cheating The Revenue
Cheating the Revenue is a serious offence. We can help you if you are facing an investigation by HMRC relating to unpaid tax or VAT.
- Her Majestys Revenue and Customs (HMRC) reserve the right to investigate the very broadly-defined offence of ‘cheating the revenue.’
- The offence enables The CPS to prosecute any offence which has the effect of defrauding monies from Her Majesty’s Revenue.
- Many different acts come under this umbrella definition, both old and new.
- BSB Solicitors has a large amount of experience in defending Revenue and Customs-led prosecutions or assisting you at the investigation stage by Local Compliance Officers.
- We can advise you at the earliest stage of your case and liaise with HMRC and The CPS on your behalf to try to avoid prosecution or limit the penalty levied by HMRC. Contact us for more details.
Death and taxes are the two certainties in life that no one is immune from. Whether you are an individual or owner of a business, your tax affairs are liable to come under scrutiny if there are irregularities in regards to your declared income or returns.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have their own team dedicated to investigating tax fraud, or offences that amount to cheating the revenue. They then pass on the cases to The Crown Prosecution Service specialist unit.
If you are suspected of wilfully cheating the revenue, either through failing to declare correct income on tax returns, failing to submit accurate tax returns or Vat returns you may receive contact from the HMRC investigations team inviting you to attend for an interview.
These interviews will almost without exception be conducted under caution and your right to consult lawyer both before and during the interview is paramount. If you are contacted by a customs officer you will benefit from passing on the details to a lawyer who will then liaise with the officer in order to obtain as much information about the allegation and arrange a mutually convenient time for the interview to take place. If the officer provides details of the allegation, we will be able to spend some time with you going through the details and considering whether you have any evidence to present in order to respond to the allegations.
Any such interview normally leads to a period of some months where the investigating team carry out further enquiries. A proactive legal team will continue to make representations on your behalf and often instruct a barrister at an early stage to assist in developing any arguments on our client’s behalf.
On occasions, at the early stage of the investigation, the prosecuting authorities will apply for a court order freezing your bank accounts and assets until the conclusion of proceedings. It is possible in certain circumstances to oppose such an order either in part or whole.
If you are then summonsed or requisitioned to attend court, you will inevitably make one appearance in the magistrates’ court before being sent to the crown court for trial, which will not be heard for many months depending on the complexity of your case, and court accommodation.
Other than the simplest of cases, we will look to instruct a forensic accountant to prepare a report in support of your defence. Whether our clients are legally aided or funding their case privately, we will only seek to arrange for a report to be prepared if it can be justified.
These cases often involve large volumes of documentary evidence, which is why it is essential that we establish an early team with the barrister and experts. It is vital that the client is part of that team throughout the process, and not simply an observer of his or her own story.
There are so many factors to be taken into consideration in terms of the likely sentence that it would not be possible to set them out on this page. The range is very wide and imprisonment may be imposed for offences involving as little as £12,500. If however, you have a query one of our partners Jonathan Black or James Skelsey on 0207 837 3456 or for further guidance .