New HMRC civil fraud policy gets mixed response

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As reported this week in TaxZone, HMRC has proposed a new civil procedure for investigating serious tax fraud starting from 1 September.

The new procedure is incorporated into a Code of Practice and will be used for investigating suspected serious cases of direct and indirect tax fraud. It will replace the Revenue's existing Hansard procedure and the Customs & Excise VAT 'New Approach'.

To recap on the key features of the new procedure:

  • The taxpayer will be given the opportunity to make a full disclosure of 'tax irregularities' (but HMRC will not reveal the details of its concerns at this stage.) There will be no underlying threat of prosecution for the original tax evasion, but HMRC will retain the right to prosecute if the taxpayer makes a materially false disclosure after agreeing...

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