We cover some of the most frequently asked questions regarding civil investigation of fraud below:
1. Which HMRC departments deal with serious tax fraud?
2. How will HMRC contact me?
You and your adviser will likely be contacted in writing, notifying you that an investigation under HMRCs civil investigation of fraud has commenced. The letter will include a copy of Code of Practice 9, which you should read carefully.
Generally the civil investigation of fraud letter will specify the names of the individuals or businesses under investigation. However, occasionally the letter will include a “catch all statement” such as “all other personal or business interests”
3. What should I do next
Remain calm and take advice from a civil investigation of fraud specialist. This may seem a rather trite statement but a calm and focused head is vital when tackling such a daunting procedure.
Daunting yes, impossible no!! With the appropriate professional advice and a positive, front foot approach you will soon be free of worry and ready to get on with the rest of your life. Remember at this stage you are suspected of serious tax fraud, not necessarily guilty of it
4. Should I appoint a tax investigation specialist?
You should without question appint a tax investigation specialist. By their nature the provisions of civil investigation of fraud call for very specialised intervention.
Remember this process is far removed from a conventional HMRC compliance check.
5. Will HMRC prosecute me?
Civil investigation of fraud is a not a criminal procedure. It is designed to give the taxpayer under investigation the opportunity to make a full and frank disclosure of all irregularities in his or her tax affairs. It will generally cover a specified period, of up to 20 years.
Criminal prosecutions generally occur where the taxpayer decides to withhold information that subsequently gives rise to a material tax loss. In other words makes a partial or contaminated disclosure.
6. Will I have to attend a meeting?
Yes, as part of this process you will be invited to attend a meeting with an HMRC investigator conducting civil investigation of fraud procedures. The meeting will afford you with you an opportunity to explain your current tax position.
You should not attend this meeting alone as it can be a fairly intense and demanding affair. Preparation is everything and a civil investigation of fraud specialist will be able to help you with this.
7. What records will I need?
That rather depends of the scale of the tax evasion involved. Your adviser may be able to agree the scope of the report that HMRC require. However, you should assume that your disclosure will need to cover all aspects of your tax affairs.
It is vital that you gather together as much documentation and paperwork as you can, given that this will form the basis of your disclosure.
8. Finally remember it is your disclosure
It is vital to remember that this is your disclosure. Even if you appoint a tax investigation specialist, the responsibility for declaring all your income and making your tax affairs transparent lies with you.
You must never assume that your tax adviser will be responsible for any omissions or errors that subsequently give rise to a partial disclosure.
Civil Investigation of Fraud Specialists
With decades of civil investigation of fraud experience between our various specialists, Admiral Tax Investigations have the knowledge, ability and tactical awareness to successfully handle a serious fraud tax investigation at any level.
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