Report reveals how high earners are under HMRC tax investigation spotlight

A report by the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed how HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is turning its tax investigations spotlight on so called ‘super-rich’ taxpayers.

According to the NAO, one in three of the richest people in the UK are under “formal enquiry” at any one time by the taxman and there is a tax investigation taskforce set up specifically to catch those who may be evading paying the correct amount of tax.

Where an enquiry identifies suspected tax fraud by a high net worth taxpayer, the case must be referred to HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service. Each case will be considered for criminal investigation. If there are grounds for a full criminal enquiry, the crack team, which consists of forensic accountants, will take over.

Forensic accountants are expert at finding where money and assets may have been hidden, however cleverly that may be. Using sophisticated software and having years of experience; they will look into the possible tax avoider from every angle, sifting through bank statements, email correspondence and any other documentation that may be relevant.

“They will also look at lifestyle and will track ownership of property and other luxury assets in a bid to find out whether these people are breaking the law by committing tax fraud or merely exploiting loopholes in the system.

If the cases then come to court, they can act as expert witnesses and will present their findings to judges and non-financial people in a clear and understandable manner.

Anjulika Salhan, a director and tax investigation specialist with Salhan Accountants commented: “HMRC has been increasingly cracking down on individuals that are suspected of tax fraud.

“Although the ‘super-rich’ are in HMRC’s spotlight, individuals with a more modest income should not be lulled into a false sense of security as anyone who is suspected of tax fraud, could find themselves under investigation by the taxman.

“In situations where HMRC is utilising the services of forensic accountants in a tax investigation, it is important to know that help is at hand in compiling a robust defence and it is particularly useful to employ a specialist firm of accountants who have first-hand knowledge of forensic accounting.

“At Salhan Accountants, we work extremely hard for clients subjected to a taxation investigation. We not only clarify the issues and the process, but come up with solutions too. Our experience, professional reputation, forensic attention to detail and negotiating skills mean we are well-placed to achieve positive outcomes.

“Whether you are an individual or company, talking to us is your best step towards addressing a taxation investigation and moving on with your life.” For more information about our taxation investigation services, please contact us.