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The processes involved can often be extremely complex, with potentially numerous different government departments and police bodies involved. Add to this the strict deadlines that are usually part and parcel of an HMRC & tax investigation and you could justifiably feel that you need some help to navigate the situation.
Having an expert guide you through what is renowned for being an extremely complex and difficult-to-navigate area of law, is invaluable.
Our experienced HMRC & tax investigation solicitors are available to advise you 24/7. If you are involved in a tax investigation, we will guide you through the various processes and ensure that all deadlines are hit.
We will work to bring about the best outcome for not only you, but also your business, all the while ensuring that the HMRC & tax investigation is as stress-free as possible for you and those closest to you.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a non-ministerial Department established by Act of Parliament in 2005. It replaces the old Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise.
HMRC is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the UK.
Their purpose is to collect money to pay for the public services in the UK, as well as financial support for people who need it.
Almost every person and business in the UK is an HMRC customer.
HMRC’s main responsibilities are:
HMRC administers Child Benefit, tax credits and Value Added Tax (VAT), among many others. It also deals with the Government Banking Service and oversees regulatory regimes such as the National Minimum Wage.
HMRC aims to ensure that the tax system is administered in the most efficient way.
A key part of their role is to conduct tax investigations if they have reason to believe that an individual or a business is avoiding paying the tax that is due, or not declaring the extent of their business activity (or is accruing debt).
The HMRC has 3 strategic objectives:
Criminal investigation is a vital part of the HMRC’s enforcement strategy. For the most part, this is used as a warning to other businesses and individuals.
HMRC have a wide range of powers in an investigation. They can, if necessary, arrest people as part of an HMRC & tax investigation.
Following an arrest in an HMRC & tax investigation, they may search both the suspects and their premises.
What’s more, HMRC have the power to make applications for search warrants for both home and business addresses of persons associated with the HMRC & tax investigation.
HMRC can also make applications for court orders which demand that information must be produced.
If you are involved in an HMRC & tax investigation, you could find that your bank accounts are frozen.
HMRC may seize or confiscate assets if they deem it to be necessary as part of a their investigation.
As you can see, HMRC has a number of different powers during an HMRC & tax investigation.
If the circumstances demand it, HMRC can even apply for permission to employ the use of intrusive surveillance powers as part of an HMRC & tax investigation. As part of this, HMRC could intercept communications (such as post). The Home Secretary must approve these more excessive measures in order for them to be used as part of an HMRC & tax investigation.
Anyone involved in an HMRC & tax investigation, can find that their lives – and their business – may be significantly disrupted. This is why it is crucial that if you find yourself as the subject of an HMRC & tax investigation, you seek advice from a solicitor experienced in this area of law as soon as possible.
HMRC will not tell you if they are looking into your taxes. However, if you become part of a formal HMRC & tax investigation, you may receive a letter from them.
You will become part of a criminal HMRC & tax investigation if HMRC suspects that criminal activity has taken place (serious tax evasion, for example). If this is the case, you will not find out you are the subject of this investigation until you either receive a letter asking you to attend an interview under caution or you are arrested.
Not always. Sometimes, even when the tax evasion is serious, HMRC may agree (or opt to) deal with the tax evasion on a civil basis. This involves full disclosure and HMRC receiving all outstanding tax (plus interest and penalties).
If you are worried you may become part of a tax investigation, it is vital to seek expert advice as soon as possible. An expert with extensive HMRC & tax investigation experience will be able to advise you of how best to navigate the situation.
An HMRC & tax investigation can take months to complete. Sometimes, depending on the complexity of the case, an HMRC & tax investigation can stretch out for years.
While this does sound like an excessive amount of time, investigations are often highly complex and can involve a range of different people and organisations.
Having experts on your side that specialise in this area of law and can help you to navigate the often complex procedures of an HMRC & tax investigation, is crucial.
Sourcing a team of people you trust to advise, support and guide you through the HMRC & tax investigation can be invaluable. This way, you can ensure that you are protecting your position and preparing for the months that lie ahead.
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