COVID behind plunge in UK tax evasion cases, say sources – International Tax Review

COVID behind plunge in UK tax evasion cases, say sources – International Tax Review

BCL’s Greg Mailer has been quoted in the ITR (International Tax Review) article exploring the reasons behind reports that HMRC’s prosecution rates for tax evasion enablers fell by 80%.

Below is a short extract from the article. If you wish to read the article in full, please visit the ITR webiste:

‘HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) brought 43 prosecutions between 2018 and 2020 but only eight in the following two years, according to a freedom of information request submitted by The Financial Times.

Greg Mailer, a solicitor who specialises in financial crime for BCL Solicitors in London, adds that the revenue agency’s attention was diverted to administration and managing the furlough scheme during the pandemic.’

“All investigations went into hiatus for a long time and there weren’t a lot of new staff to start new investigations. It created the perfect storm of a huge backlog of cases, potential tax default and a department which was understaffed and overworked, having to deal with all old cases and a huge number of new cases, and the government wanting to bring more money in.”

*This article was first published by International Tax Review on 27 March 2023.

Greg Mailer specialises in corporate crime, financial crime, and regulatory investigations. He has experience in investigations and prosecutions by the SFO, the CPS, the CMA, the ICO and the FCA. He has particular expertise in assisting clients in relation to investigations by HMRC, especially with regard to the issues of tax avoidance and evasion. He has significant experience in dealing with cases involving the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF) and HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service and COP9 teams, and has acted in numerous cases in which criminal issues have arisen out of civil matters. He is a regular attendee of the Fraud Forum of HMRC, established to consult on policy and operational issues on tax fraud.

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