Tax EvasionMeet the team
If you believe that you may soon be – or are currently being – investigated for tax fraud by HMRC, it is vital that you contact the knowledgeable and experienced tax fraud solicitors at DPP Law as soon as possible.
From cases of smuggling goods that are VAT liable to cases of tax evasion, the legal specialists at DPP Law can look back over a strong track record in this field.
We regularly help clients to gather evidence and to build a defence if their case is taken to court, ensuring the best possible outcome every time.
Criminal Defence Lawyers for Tax Fraud and HMRC Investigations
HMRC tax investigations can be stressful and concerning for their subjects – particularly as they may lead to criminal charges should enough relevant evidence be collected to enable the body to prosecute in a court of law.
Investigators may explore the records and practices of both individuals and businesses if they have reason to believe that they are guilty of tax fraud or any other tax-related crime.
If, after being investigated by HMRC, sufficient evidence is found to see you prosecuted for tax fraud, it’s vital to have a solicitor from a leading law firm by your side to provide you with clear legal advice and strong representation.
DPP Law’s tax fraud solicitors have been advising and defending clients in this field for more than three decades, and will help to fight your corner throughout any tax-related criminal investigation.
What is the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance?
Two of the terms most commonly used when discussing tax fraud are “tax evasion” and “tax avoidance”. While sometimes mistakenly applied interchangeably, these two terms are actually defined very differently – particularly when it comes to their legal implications.
Tax evasion is a criminal offence that often involves the concealment of information from bodies such as HMRC, such as details of income, that will affect the taxes one is required to pay.
The term also covers the intentional misrepresentation of facts and figures with the intention of illegally underpaying or failing to pay tax.
It is a form of financial fraud that may lead to serious penalties, including prison sentences.
If prosecuted for tax evasion, a person may face an unlimited fine and up to seven years in prison.
There is no such thing as tax avoidance prosecution – as this activity is not a crime. The term refers to the act of taking advantage of legal loopholes in order to avoid paying certain taxes or reducing the amount one is required to pay.
Will I be prosecuted for tax fraud?
There are various types of tax fraud, including the use of forged, false or manipulated paperwork, falsely claiming tax relief or repayments, failing to report income or hiding that income offshore and smuggling goods in order to avoid VAT payments.
There is also “carousel fraud”, which involves the illegal movement of taxable goods across borders to exploit the waiving of VAT in certain territories.
If you are investigated for any of these types of tax-related offences, you will need to ensure that HMRC or any other investigating body has access to sufficient evidence to prove that you are innocent.
Should that evidence be lacking in any way, it is likely that you will be prosecuted.
For this reason, it is vital that you seek expert advice from a tax fraud solicitor as soon as you become aware of any investigation into your activities.
What defence is there against tax fraud charges?
Often, the most effective defence against accusations or charges of tax fraud is to argue that you made a mistake when handling your tax affairs and that you were completely unaware of any discrepancy until an HMRC investigation began.
If you have suitable evidence supporting a strong defence of this kind, the charges against you may well be dropped – and it is possible that you will walk away without facing a penalty. Of course, it is likely that you will be required to pay any outstanding amounts of tax.
If it seems very likely that you will be penalised for fraudulent tax activities, you may alternatively be able to argue that you failed to “take reasonable care” when managing your taxes.
This is likely to land you with a fine of up to 30% of the tax due – with lower amounts possible for those who can prove that they worked to actively resolve the issue as soon as it was brought to their attention.
Should prosecutors determine that you have deliberately underpaid tax or provided false information, you are likely to face a much harsher punishment than you might if you are able to prove that your actions constituted a careless mistake.
What should I do if I’m accused of tax fraud?
The best thing you can do if you have been – or believe that you may soon be – accused of tax fraud is to make contact with the specialist solicitors at DPP Law immediately.
Our specialists will help you to provide investigators with vital evidence in order to argue your innocence and can aid you in building the strongest defence possible.
When investigating potential tax fraud or tax investigation, HMRC must follow a strict code of practice. This means that they need to notify you in advance of any investigation into your tax affairs.
You may be invited to an “interview under caution”. It is not mandatory for you to attend this, but, if you decide to do so, one of our solicitors may accompany you and advise you throughout.
Our specialists can also represent you in a court of law and apply their extensive knowledge and experience to push for the best possible outcome.
Alongside this, our solicitors advise individuals in areas including:
- Criminal Defence
- Sexual Offences
- Benefit Fraud Defence
- Serious Driving Offences
- Military Law
- Family Law
- Personal Injury
- Road Traffic Accidents
Tax Fraud: Frequently Asked Questions
Is tax evasion illegal?
Yes – tax evasion is considered a form of fraud and is therefore illegal. Individuals found guilty of tax evasion face serious penalties – including unlimited fines and extensive prison time.
Is tax evasion considered money laundering?
While tax evasion and money laundering offences do not automatically come hand in hand, certain instances of money laundering may include tax evasion. What’s more, anyone knowingly in receipt of the proceeds of tax evasion may be prosecuted for money laundering.
For expert guidance, assistance and legal representation regarding tax fraud and tax evasion investigation or prosecution, do not hesitate to instruct DPP Law today.
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