We hope that you never have to go through a company or personal civil or criminal investigation by HMRC. If you do find yourself or your company subject to an investigation the Bedrock team can help you through the process.
Many people worry that clients and friends may find out about the investigation and whilst HMRC has a duty to maintain taxpayer confidentiality it’s not necessarily the case that all of their investigations are kept confidential. HMRC does have ‘naming and shaming’ provisions however these are not commonly used other than in extreme cases of fraud. However, criminal prosecutions do take place in the courts and as such will be in the public domain.
Code of Practice 9 (COP 9) and Code of Practice 8 (COP8) cases are serious and you need to respond in a timely manner if you receive notification from HMRC that they are opening such an investigation into your tax affairs. For example if you receive a COP9 letter you must make an outline disclosure within 60 days and a detailed disclosure thereafter. If you do not make an outline disclosure you may face a criminal investigation. COP9 is very serious and we have the experience and expertise to help.
If you find out you’re under investigation get in touch as soon as possible so we can help you. Some HMRC processes are time limited so it’s important you don’t delay resolving the situation.
Most HMRC enquiries are resolved under civil law where financial penalties may be applied rather than resulting in imprisonment. However, where there is a criminal prosecution, fines and in extreme cases prison is a possibility.
HMRC powers mean that their inspectors can review your past. In terms of sanctions these can vary and as it depends on whether HMRC suspect there have been errors, in which case it is four years imprisonment, however if they suspect a lack of care then it’s fourteen years, and in the case of fraudulent activity, twenty years.
Case Study: Tax enquiry support
The team at Bedrock offers expert tax enquiry support. Our experience in dealing with HMRC has proved invaluable to clients and accountants when defending a particular stance taken regarding tax returns; conceding where claims have been made in error and in repairing damaged relationships with HMRC.Read case study
Tax investigations can take some considerable time. It’s not possible to set out an exact time frame but the Bedrock team will always seek to resolve any problems as quickly as possible so as to avoid further penalties or interest on repayments.
The sooner you contact us the sooner we can help resolve your tax problems.