Most people go through life without ever worrying about breaking the law, as they are law-abiding citizens that lead fruitful and productive lives that make them upstanding members of the community they are living in. But, this is not how everybody lives life and there are some people living in our society that will go to great lengths to gain money and hide it from the authorities. While they may have gained this money in a way that is moral through carrying out some work, choosing not to declare it to the HMRC may be a criminal offence as we all are liable to pay tax on the money we earn.
When someone is running their own business and chooses to try to hide earnings for tax purposes they may quickly find themselves under investigation by the HMRC, who may also decide to call the police in to assist them, as they may be seeking to evade the payment of their rightful taxes. This is a criminal offence and anyone who is being investigated in this manner may wish to employ the services of a fraud solicitor to represent them and protect their interests and legal rights, as going through this type of investigation alone could prove very tricky.
The investigation and being interviewed
When someone is being investigated by the HMRC and the police they will be given little to no warning about the fact. Normally they will find that someone will just turn up at the place of business of the person being investigated and this will be when it is made clear that an investigation is underway. At this point, the person being investigated should immediately consider appointing a legally qualified representative.
It needs to be made clear that in the United Kingdom, there are no fines, penalties, or actions that can be taken against a person or business that has simply made an error in judgement that led to the creation of a mistake on a VAT or tax return. However, if a business or person has deliberately chosen to not fill in a return correctly as a way to avoid paying the correct amount of tax then this is when fraud may occur and could lead to a criminal prosecution against the owners of a business.
Before any case can be taken to court an investigation must take place to collect the evidence that a crime has been committed, this will include interviewing the person or people that may have been involved. During these interviews, it is important for the person being investigated to have a legal representative with them, as this will ensure that the questioning will stay within the confines of the matter being investigated and that the person’s legal rights are not compromised in any way.
After the interview has taken place the person being questioned should be allowed to return home and the information will be used in the making of a final decision to confirm if there is a case to answer, the fraud solicitor will be kept up to date with this process and will feed back any developments to their clients.
If the case proceeds to a court hearing, then clients are best advised to maintain the services of the legal representative they first appointed, as they will be familiar with the case being discussed.