Dealing with dawn raids by HM Revenue & Customs
Produced in partnership with Michael Potts of PCB Byrne

The following Risk & Compliance practice note produced in partnership with Michael Potts of PCB Byrne provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Dealing with dawn raids by HM Revenue & Customs
  • What is HMRC?
  • Main reasons for an HMRC raid
  • Powers
  • Execution of a warrant
  • Penalties
  • Further information

Dealing with dawn raids by HM Revenue & Customs

What is HMRC?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is responsible for the administration and collection of taxes, including direct taxes such as income tax and corporation tax; capital taxes such as capital gains tax and inheritance tax; indirect taxes including value added tax; excise duties; and stamp duty land tax.

However, HMRC is also a law enforcement agency responsible for investigating serious organised fiscal crime, including all work related to crime previously undertaken by HM Customs and Excise (other than drug trafficking) such as tobacco and alcohol smuggling.

Main reasons for an HMRC raid

HMRC has a tax evasion reporting facility on its website as well as a hotline for reporting suspected tax fraud; if such a report is made, it will be investigated by HMRC. If it believes there is a case to investigate, HMRC may at some point make arrests and raid premises.

HMRC is often also engaged with insolvency proceedings and if as a creditor it becomes aware of possible tax frauds it will investigate and possibly raid business premises.

Powers

The powers of investigation for HMRC are governed by many different statues. The ability to obtain a search warrant is covered in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984) as amended by the Finance Act 2007 and also in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

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