Janes Solicitors offer specialist advice and assistance in this highly complex area of law whether you are facing investigation, interviews, enquiries or prosecution we are there for you every step of the way.
We are highly experienced in dealing with all tax fraud and evasion cases, enquiries and disputes including:
- HMRC prosecutions
- Tax evasion
- Tax avoidance schemes
- Carousel Fraud (MTIC VAT fraud)
- Code of Practice 8
- Code of Practice 9
- Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO)
- Offshore structures
Tax fraud typically involves the deliberate and dishonest evasion of tax by individuals, companies or trusts. Tax evasion can be carried out in several ways, including declaring less income than a person or organisation has actually earned, overstating deductions or declaring less profits or gains.
Tax avoidance is using a legitimate means to mitigate, reduce or defer your tax liability. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) should not take issue with anyone who uses a legitimate tax avoidance techniques. However, the position is often uncertain and Janes Solicitors will advise you.
In recent years HMRC have taken an increasingly strict approach to tackling illegal methods of tax evasion and tax fraud. Certain industries and types of business may become a specific target for HMRC.
Furthermore, the changes introduced by the Criminal Finances 2017 include two new offences of corporate failure to prevent tax evasions; changes to seizure powers; unexplained wealth orders (UWO) and changes to Proceeds of Crime Act. Janes Solicitors will advise you on the implications for you and your business.
Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO) give the National Crime Agency (NCA) and other enforcement authorities the power to apply to the High Court for an order which requires an individual to set out the nature and extent of their interest in an identified property. The High Court will have to be satisfied that the respondent is either a politically exposed person (PEP’s) or a person who is, or has been, involved in serious crime or connected to a person who has been involved in serious crime. The property in question must exceed £50,000.
If you have concerns about the methods used by you or your business, or are concerned about tax evasion or tax fraud you should seek expert legal advice even before HMRC contact you or your business.
Janes Solicitors are at the top of our field. We are regularly instructed to advise individuals and companies and have years of experience in particularly complex and large scale cases involving matters such as cheating HMRC, conspiracies to cheat HMRC, false or misleading or undeclared tax, tax avoidance schemes (including film schemes and research and development investments), Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS) and the highly regulated area of VAT and Excise Duties.
Our Expertise & Experience
Our lawyers are specialists in tax fraud and evasion defence, including tax enquiries and tax disputes. We have a leading and well-earned reputation for achieving excellent results for our clients. Our proven track record, personal approach and fearless commitment gives us the edge over other firms meaning we are highly sought after by clients.
Janes Solicitors hold a strong presence and first-class reputation in defending serious and complex tax fraud and tax evasion cases and are regularly instructed in the largest and most high-profile cases in the UK. The key to our success is the proactive and individual approach we take with each of our clients offering maximum support and a fearless commitment in each and every case that we undertake.
Our Exceptional & Proven Track Record
As our client, you can be confident in our unparalleled and quality reputation for success in defending high-profile and high value serious and complex tax fraud cases, such as our victory in R v Amin (Operation Crystallite) where we successfully defended our client, an RBS banker, against charges of conspiracy to cheat HMRC. Our client had invested into a film scheme promoted by a prominent Ernst & Young Partner and Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The case attracted extensive media attention as it sent shockwaves through the tax advisory industry as investors were prosecuted for the first time.
Janes Solicitors are also involved in the following tax fraud cases:
- Operation Amazon - representing a lead defendant in a seven-handed conspiracy to cheat HMRC in what has been described as one of the ‘largest direct taxation frauds in the UK’ amounting to over £268 million tax at risk. The underlying business relates to green projects for Research and Development across the globe and environmental carbon trading with investments by hundreds of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) and Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS).
- Operation Lunar - representing a defendant charged in multi handed case allegations of cheating HMRC in investment schemes promoted to High Net Worth Individuals to encourage relief on capital allowances. The case represents a significant shift in HMRC policy and attitudes as one of the first prosecutions of investors into such schemes.
Carousel Fraud (Missing Trader Intra Community Fraud or MTIC VAT fraud)
Janes Solicitors have significant experience in all types of Value Added Tax (VAT) fraud, including carousel fraud.
Janes Solicitors provide robust representation and advice for those under investigation or facing prosecution for involvement carousel or MTIC VAT frauds. Get in touch as soon as possible if you are under investigation or if you are facing VAT fraud allegations.
In Carousel frauds, imported goods may be sold from one trader to another, and eventually exported. The exporter can claim back the whole of the VAT from the Government that should have been paid on the goods. However, if there is a "missing trader" in the chain of sales, part of this VAT was never paid in the first place and this can repeat many times, with the goods going round in a 'carousel'.
An example of MTIC fraud is when goods are zero-rated in the country of origin, and VAT on the goods should be paid in the country where they have been imported. After importation, the goods are sold to another trader charging the price of the goods plus VAT. The trader doesn't pass on the VAT to the Government. This trader becomes a "missing trader". The buyer who paid VAT to the missing trader claims a deduction for the same VAT amount on his VAT return. The same goods will then be shipped on again at zero-rated VAT for export meaning the Government has lost the entire VAT that should be paid on the goods. This type of fraud, where goods are made available for consumers in the importer's home market is often known as 'acquisition fraud'.
COP 8 Enquiries
Janes Solicitors are regularly instructed by clients who are seeking advice following notice of a COP 8 notice. HMRC will make a Code of Practice 8 (COP8) enquiry where it believes an organisation or business has deliberately tried to pay less than the correct amount or take advantage of a scheme or device to reduce a tax liability (tax avoidance). If HMRC suspect this, they will investigate under COP 8 to establish the facts to recover any tax, interest and penalties due.
COP8 investigations often focus on the gathering of large amounts of information so it is vital to understand the limitations of HMRC’s powers and which documents have the protection of privilege. There is no standardised format to a COP8 investigation – unlike COP9.
We can assist clients in preparing reports and will work tirelessly on your behalf. Where HMRC enquiries are unjustifiable, we can apply to the Tax Tribunal for a Closure Notice to bring the investigation to a close.
We will also question requests for information that are too onerous and will ensure you and your business' interests are looked after every step of the way.
COP 9 Enquiries
Janes Solicitors are regularly instructed by clients who are seeking advice following notice of a COP 9 enquiry. Often the first time you will hear of a Code of Practice 9 (COP 9) Procedure is when you receive the letter from the HMRC telling you are under suspicion for serious tax fraud and your business is under investigation. A COP 9 enquiry is when HMRC serves you a notice compelling you to disclose your financial affairs as a way of avoiding financial penalties for suspected tax offences. You may accept you have committed the alleged wrongs, and cooperate by disclosing your financial affairs, or you can deny the offence. If you deny the fraud, you will be asked if you wish to cooperate to help HMRC in their investigation. Cooperation will be looked upon more favourably in terms of any subsequent penalties that may follow. Janes Solicitors will advise you on the best approach.
After receiving a COP9 letter, you have sixty days to decide whether to enter into an arrangement with HMRC. HMRC may give an undertaking that it will not pursue a criminal tax investigation if cooperation can be reached and will instead calculate a financial settlement to cover the amount owed with a financial penalty attached. Speak to one of our team straight away if you have received a COP9 letter, for responsive and pragmatic legal advice. Any investigation procedure by the authorities can be highly stressful and debilitating to your business, and it is vital you seek legal advice early. Janes Solicitors will advise you so you know exactly where you stand, and how best to proceed at every stage.
Contact Our Expert Tax Fraud Defence Lawyers London
Janes Solicitors provides bespoke specialist advice on all areas of serious and complex fraud, regulatory, taxation and serious financial crime matters. With extensive experience in all areas of fraud and financial crime and a well-earned reputation as leaders in our field, our expert defence team take a proactive and pragmatic approach to legal advice and case strategy. We are committed to your successful outcome. Janes Solicitors pride ourselves on our case tailored approach for each client in and our fearless commitment in each and every case we undertake.
If you or your business have concerns, are under suspicion or investigation or have been arrested or prosecuted for any serious fraud or financial crime offence, contact us today on 020 7930 5100, or via our online contact form. One of our team will be in touch as soon as possible.