With increased access to information, HMRC is better equipped than ever to carry out investigations. 

Our tax experts can assist you through this potentially stressful and unsettling time if you are the subject of an HMRC investigation or enquiry, or if you would like to discuss past alleged irregularities.
There is not a one-size fits all approach when it comes to dealing with tax problems, which is why our experts are able to help with a range of issues.

Furlough support errors

Any employer with something to disclose or facing a penalty challenge from HMRC should seek appropriate specialist advice.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was introduced early in the pandemic to support more than one million businesses.

Billions of pounds was paid to businesses to temporarily furlough employees rather than make them redundant.

While most employers acted faithfully, the potential for abuse saw measures introduced to help HMRC identify and investigate any employer who accidentally or deliberately overclaimed support payments. Thousands of investigations and several arrests have been made to date.

Legislation was introduced to enable HMRC to recover overpaid grants and the associated penalty regime means that not coming forward is automatically deemed to be ‘deliberate and concealed’ behaviour, irrespective of the actual behaviour, which means that a penalty of up to 100% of the overclaimed grant can be levied.

Criminal investigations

HMRC normally investigates cases of tax fraud using civil powers under the Contractual Disclosure Facility.

HMRC reserves the right to pursue a criminal case and prosecute in any case where there is suspected tax evasion.

If this happens, legal representation will be needed from a criminal defence solicitor and we can make introductions if required.

If we are involved early enough in the process, we can work with your legal representative to attempt to bring the investigation back into a civil setting.  

If HMRC or the Crown Prosecution Service continue to pursue a criminal investigation, we can review the basis of the tax fraud allegation and make representations if there are areas of dispute.

HMRC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediations and tribunals (ADR) 

In certain ongoing disputes with HMRC, the facts of a case might make it one that is suitable for other courses of action.

ADR is a process where an impartial HMRC mediator who has not been involved in the case attempts to assist the parties to work towards resolving a tax dispute outside of the Tribunal or Court.

Taxpayers have the option of involving an accredited mediator from outside HMRC as part of the process; Sean Wakeman is a CEDR accredited mediator who can be appointed for this purpose.

The parties in dispute have control of the decision whether or not to settle and can work on creating a negotiated agreement without having to refer the matter to the tax tribunal, although that option does remain in the event ADR is unsuccessful. 

We can assist with preparations for a tribunal hearing if this is the last remaining option.

Other bespoke services

Advising other advisors

Professional practices such as accountancy and law firms commonly provide compliance and advisory services to multiple clients, building a solid relationship with the individuals and businesses requiring assistance. Nonetheless, professional advisors will sometimes need advice about issues outside their usual expertise such as how to deal with tax problems.

We often work with other accountancy firms and solicitors to support their clients through tax investigations and disputes. 

Complaints procedure

The complaints process can be time-consuming and costly, so it's crucial to understand your rights and the resources available to you in case you require them. Remember that if you decide to proceed through the complaints procedure, penalties and interest may accumulate, so it's sensible to stay informed.

If the circumstances of your a case warrant a complaint to HMRC, we can guide you through the process and help you make a robust case for setting out areas of concern and claiming costs.

Expert witness / negligence claims

Sometimes clients assert that poor tax advice has been received and a claim is made against the advisor for the losses suffered. Whether or not the matter proceeds as far as a court, an independent expert may need to be appointed to give a formal opinion on the matter.

PAYE and VAT investigations

PAYE and VAT investigations can be extensive and intrusive. We can work with our specialist VAT and Workforce Advisory groups to review the issues and help resolve the concerns that HMRC has identified to resolve the case as quickly as possible.

Tax consequences of non-tax fraud

We have acted in numerous cases where a financial fraud perpetrated against an organisation, for example, by an employee extracting funds which is then masked by incorrect book entries. We work alongside our Forensic Services team to investigate the extent and quantum of the fraud and make a disclosure to HMRC of the tax impact, which could affect a number of tax returns, e.g. corporation tax, VAT and PAYE returns given the incorrect accounting entries.

Don’t see what you’re looking for?

These are just some more areas where we can be of assistance.

Please contact our team with more information if you need assistance with any other tax issues you're not sure how to handle and we can discuss whether we can help.

Book a free consultation

If you would prefer to speak to us, please call our free confidential helpline +44 (0)800 656 9990.
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Our experienced and award-winning Tax Resolutions team can help you navigate your case and ensure you meet your obligations.