Wealthy investors who bought shares in intellectual property companies could face criminal investigations as HMRC increases pressure on aggressive tax planning.
The UK tax authority recently sent letters to clients of BlackStar, a UK tax and investment adviser, warning them that “arrangements relating to subscription of shares” in two companies were the subject of a criminal investigation. Suspected offences include conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and offences contrary to the Fraud Act, HMRC said in its letter.
The investors bought shares in two companies (Luxpand Limited and Showcase Booths Limited), which HMRC suspects were designed to create artificial losses for tax relief.
BlackStar responded in an email to its clients that HMRC’s threat of criminal investigation was a “disruptive and intimidating tactic” to obstruct legitimate investment schemes. In the email , seen by AccountingWEB..