The Director of Public Prosecutions Kier Starmer QC" has stated that he is planning a five fold increase in the number of tax evasion cases his organisation takes on. It follows that the number of investigations into tax avoidance may have to increase by a factor greater than five as not all investigations reach the stage of being sent to the CPS.
It is predictable that in their rush to meet the five fold increase in cases sent to the CPS, investigations may not be as thorough as perhaps they should be and individuals or schemes which are legal tax avoidance schemes, taking advantage of loopholes or incentives, may be caught up in lengthy and intrusive investigations. Tax avoidance is entirely different to tax evasion which requires the criminal element of dishonesty.
During an enquiry, HMRC will not only be investigating the consultants who sell avoidance schemes but also the individuals involved in those schemes. This could mean an early morning knock on the door by tax investigators who will enter homes and seize papers, computers and perhaps mobile phones. This will be the start of a long investigation process which may involve one or more lengthy interviews at the offices of HMRC or local Police Station.
Our Business Crime Solicitors at Slater and Gordon have many years experience in representing individuals under investigation for tax avoidance. For a confidential consultation please contact us on London 0207 657 1769 or Manchester 0161 383 3554.