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Deals with tax(Code of Practice 8 and 9) investigation cases, vat enquiries, including technical issues involving £500,000 or more and is only opened on firm evidence. Tax fraud cases involving less are generally dealt with by the Civil Investigation of Fraud (CIF) unit. The inspectors within HMRC’s Special Investigations department are highly trained officers, experienced in tax fraud. A Special Investigation is highly stressful. SI will pass your investigation on to the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office (RCPO) for prosecution, if they believe a deliberate fraud has taken place. (CIF) is the process HMRC use to deal with cases of suspected tax fraud. HMRC defines fraud as “attempting to obtain a tax advantage by deception”. Anyone undergoing a tax fraud investigation by HMRC for serious tax fraud is more than likely to be investigated by the CIF department. The CIF process gives individuals the opportunity to make a full disclosure of any tax irregularities in return for the guarantee of a civil settlement. CIF departments usually investigate under Code of Practice 9 (COP9) tax fraud procedures which are only opened if HMRC have firm evidence of tax fraud. HMRC spend months collecting tax fraud evidence and information for Civil Investigation of Fraud cases, before opening tax fraud investigations. These investigations are normally concluded with a financial settlement requiring the payment of tax, interest and penalties – unless an incomplete disclosure is made or the taxpayer signs a false statement, in which case HMRC may decide to prosecute. The process is a complex one and requires handling by specialists. Appleton Richardson & Co are the specialists.
POCA (Proceeds of Crime Act 2002) part five enables Economic Crime Command (part of NCA)to issue proceedings against any person who it thinks has property or assets obtained through unlawful conduct. The advantage of going to a Tribunal or Court is that ECC need not bother with obtaining a criminal conviction from a jury who are convinced beyond reasonable doubt! Economic Crime Command work on the “balance of probabilities” easier than “beyond reasonable doubt”! .