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Will Lynam Tax have to report my tax evasion?

May 20th, 2015

Many people who contact us about tax evasion ask if we have to report them under the  Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.  The short answer is no.

February 2006 saw a significant change to the Money Laundering Reporting rules for certain tax investigation specialists, such as Lynam Tax.  Technically this is because we have been classified by law as “Relevant Professional Advisors” providing “Defined Services”.  The new rules and exemptions do not apply to all practitioners;  in particular they do not apply to people who are not members of approved professional bodies (like the ICAEW and ACCA to which we belong).  They will also not apply to many professional accountants who are members of such bodies, as they may not be covered by the “Defined Services” provision.

It is now possible for specialist professional tax investigation advisors like Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts to have meetings with people who have irregularities in their tax affairs in the strictest confidence.  As these meetings are to advise on tax law and how to regularise the situation, such meetings will be “privileged” for the purposes of the Money Laundering Rules. Consequently it would actually be illegal for us to disclose any contents of that meeting to anyone, even under the Money Laundering Regulations.

This means we have the same status as Lawyers in this regard. Indeed the guidelines say we are “expected to be bound by the same standards of behaviour as legal professional advisers (i.e. lawyers) subject to legal professional privilege”.   Any discussions with us are therefore subject to client/ attorney privilege.  This means you can come to us for advice about your tax affairs (including the most serious of tax frauds), without the fear of being reported.

What does this mean for me?

Very few people who have fiddled their tax get prosecuted in the UK each year.  HMRC prefer to obtain money settlements, usually under the Contractual Disclosure Facility.  It is usually only those few people who fail to properly handle a tax enquiry who end up with a criminal investigation.  So if your worry is about being prosecuted then the best thing you can do is to talk to us (in total confidence remember) as soon as possible. Where people speak to us soon enough we can usually ensure that the taxman does not prosecute.

Lynam Tax partners have a vast amount of practical experience in managing tax investigations and tax enquiries.  We have successfully persuaded HMRC to drop criminal charges in a number of cases (where they have already started proceedings) and we can also assist specialist defence solicitors in cases which do end up in court; when we have been able to substantially reduce the amounts of money being sought by HMRC.

We can advise you on the best course of action  in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.

For a free, strictly private, no obligation consultation, call:

Paul Lynam 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

What are the criminal tax charges?

May 13th, 2015

HMRC are responsible for investigating suspected crime involving all of the UK’s taxes. But the decision to bring a criminal prosecution is made by an independent prosecuting authority; the Central Fraud Group of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The CPS usually brings one or more of the following charges against alleged tax evaders:

  • Fraud (s 1 Fraud Act 2006);
  • False accounting (s 17 Theft Act 1968);
  • Fraudulent evasion of VAT (s 72(1) VATA 1994);
  • Fraudulent evasion of income tax (s 144 FA 2000);
  • Cheat at Common Law

These offences all carry custodial sentences.  Under the Fraud Act an offender could face a maximum of ten years in prison.  The maximum penalty for common cheat is life imprisonment!  Although many tax evaders receive suspended sentences.

All defendants charged with a criminal offence make their first appearance before a Magistrates Court. In most cases of serious tax fraud the charge will be an ‘indictable’ offence, i.e. the case will be referred to the Crown Court by the magistrates for trial before a jury.

Lynam Tax Investigation Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations. If you are worried about a tax investigation we can advise you on the best course of action.  If appropriate, we can help you manage any necessary disclosures.  If you are facing criminal charges we can help you obtain first class legal representation, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call:

Paul Lynam today on 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Jail for Nottingham Loan Shark OAP Tax Fraudster

May 12th, 2015

A self-employed credit salesman, was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Nottingham Crown Court today; after being found guilty of evading £90,000 of tax.

Between November 2008 and May 2014 Anthony Lewis, aged 65 from Gamston in Nottingham, earned £350,000 in commission from his door to door business of selling short-term loans and collecting repayments.  He had never informed the taxman he was in business and so didn’t pay Income Tax or National Insurance Contributions on his earnings.

Lewis pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of Income Tax.

He pleaded guilty to 5 counts of “Fraudulent Evasion of Income Tax” and was sentenced to 18 months in prison on each count; the sentences to run concurrently.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
We have decades of extensive practical experience in managing tax disclosures and tax fraud investigations.  If you have irregularities in your tax affairs we can advise you on your best course of action.  If appropriate, we will help you with any disclosure.  If you are already under criminal investigation we can assist in the preparation of the defence case.  We can help get the best possible outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call


Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997


Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

How can we help you with Tax Appeals?

May 6th, 2015

Where it has not been possible to resolve disputes with the tax authority by agreement, appeals against HMRC Decisions can be heard and determined by independent Tribunals.

Lynam Tax experts can help you to prepare for, and present, your case at such a Tribunal, in a manner which will maximise the likelihood of achieving a successful outcome.  Our highly skilled negotiators have a clear understanding and practical experience of the presentation of cases before the Tribunals.

By using our experts you will benefit from:

  • a twin track of continuing to seek a negotiated outcome, whilst fully preparing for a hearing;
  • avoiding the pitfalls of being under prepared or inadequately represented;
  • thorough preparation of your case, from both a technical and tactical angles;
  • a detailed knowledge of the complex procedures involved and of the powers of the Tribunals, and how to use them to your advantage;
  • freeing more of your time to concentrate on your business;
  • peace of mind, knowing that your case is being handled by experts; and
  • specialist support for your general practitioner accountant.

We will work with you and your advisors, as appropriate, to ensure that you and your case are fully prepared for a Tribunal hearing.  We also regularly work with external Tax Counsel when necessary and are qualified to instruct barristers directly.

We manage the whole process of preparing for a Tribunal hearing, maximising the odds of a successful outcome.

Do I need specialist help with my tax appeal?

The taxman uses specialist ‘Appeals’ teams to lead its cases at Tribunal.  Lynam Tax Dispute Experts have decades of experience in handling contentious tax appeals and can assist taxpayers and their accountants with the process; in order to achieve the optimum results.

*For a free, confidential chat about your tax affairs, don’t delay, call Paul Lynam now on 0845 643 9997

or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710

Tax Cheating Doctor Sentenced

May 4th, 2015

A 72 year old semi-retired ear, nose, and throat consultant found guilty of £700,000 worth of tax evasion, was sentenced this month at Belfast Crown Court: escaping jail with a suspended sentence.

An in-depth tax investigation by HM Revenue and Customs into the affairs ENT consultant Francis Gerard D’Arcy, led the tax inspectors to believe that he had failed to declare £1.4 million income earned in private practice.  He was given an opportunity to make a full disclosure, but chose not to do so.  HMRC decided to prosecute him: charging him with 4 counts of being knowingly concerned in the cheating of the public revenue contrary to Common Law.

D’Arcy pleaded guilty and in March 2014 he paid HMRC £736,542.14. The judge gave him 4 concurrent, 2 year jail sentences, all suspended for 3 years. He was also fined £230,000.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
We have decades of extensive practical experience in managing tax disclosures and tax fraud investigations.  If you have irregularities in your tax affairs we can advise you on your best course of action.  If appropriate, we will help you with any disclosure.  If you are already under criminal investigation we can assist in the preparation of the defence case.  We can help get the best possible outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call


Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997


Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Could I be put on the Tax Offenders’ Register?

April 27th, 2015

The taxman is allowed to override confidentiality to name and shame tax evaders, if the taxman thinks there was a tax fraud of more than £25,000.  The tax office will publish names and “sufficient further information” to allow tax fiddlers to be identified, if an individual or company director has not made a full disclosure to HMRC (e.g. prompted disclosures under the HMRC Code of Practice 9, Contractual Disclosure Facility procedures).

This punishment by public denunciation is on top of potential 100% penalties for “deliberate understatement”.  There’s a further 100% maximum penalty (i.e. an eye watering 200% total), where an offshore bank account is involved.

The details published will be the “minimum necessary” to identify the person and the offence:  e.g. name, address, nature of business, period covered, amount of tax and penalty.  The Tax Offenders Register is then posted on the HMRC website.

The Tax Offenders’ Register entries can be in addition to placing the taxpayer in The Managing Deliberate Defaulters Programme.

How could it affect me?
Major worries to any business proprietor “named and shamed” on the tax offenders register include the potential for: credit refusal from lenders and suppliers; loss of customers’ goodwill; refusal by customers to pay in advance or leave deposits; a negative impact on the valuation of the business. The impact on families and employees could also be extremely stressful.

What safeguards will there be?

  • The decisions which underpin the scheme can be appealed to the independent Tax Tribunal.  If the Tribunal feels there is no evaded tax, or that the understatement was not deliberate, then the taxman cannot use ‘Naming and Shaming’;
  • Publication is not allowed until all appeal opportunities are finalised;
  • The taxpayer must be notified and given reasonable opportunity to make representations;
  • The taxpayer will be sent an advance copy of the details HMRC intend publishing;
  • HMRC must publish within 12 months of the penalty becoming final and remove material from their website 12 months later;
  • HMRC will not publish the taxpayer’s home address if he can be identified without it and without potential for him to be confused for another person;
  • HMRC will not publish at all in certain exceptional circumstances, after taking into account representations by the taxpayer.

How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts help me?
If you are undergoing a tax investigation or a compliance check then specialist help from Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts could save your blushes and your business.  Plus, our massive experience will almost certainly save you tax and penalties as well.

*For a free, confidential chat about your tax affairs, don’t delay, call Paul Lynam now on 0845 643 9997

or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710

Swingeing Penalties for Uncooperative Barrister

April 23rd, 2015

A barrister failed to supply the taxman with all the information and documents demanded by a formal notice: and ended up having to pay penalties (on top of the tax due) of over £1 million!

Romie Tager, a barrister, had submitted his own tax returns and an Inheritance Tax return (following his father’s death) to HMRC.  The tax inspectors were not happy that the returns were correct and complete.  So they issued him with formal Information Notices in order to obtain further facts.  Mr Tager only partially complied with the formal Notices: despite being given numerous opportunities to do so.  HMRC’s patience finally ran out, and the tax officers eventually deployed a little used penalty power – allowing them to charge penalties of up to 100% of the tax in respect of a failure to supply the relevant items.  Of course, he will still have to pay the tax, plus interest, due in respect of those tax returns.  In his instance the penalties alone were over £1 million!

Mr Tager appealed against the notices to the Tax Tribunal.  The Tribunal upheld the penalties in full.  The Tribunal Judge said he had found it virtually “impossible” to understand why Tager had not appointed a tax adviser to deal with these issues for him.

Lynam Tax specialise in dealing with HMRC and are experts in the application of the Information Notices rules.  If you need advice and help in a difficult Tax Enquiry call:

Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Managing Deliberate Defaulters

April 20th, 2015

The taxman’s Managing Deliberate Defaulters programme, (MDD) is a method for HMRC to keep a close ‘watching brief’ on known tax evaders for up to 5 years following the closing of a tax investigation.

The key features of the MDD are:

  • A defaulter is someone who deliberately pays the wrong amount of tax. Usually that will be someone who has incurred a tax-geared penalty for behaviour which falls in the ‘deliberate’ or ‘deliberate with concealment’ categories or were identified as deliberate evaders via criminal or Contractual Disclosure Facility proceedings, or via one of HMRC’s Tax Amnesty incentivised disclosure campaigns.
  • Defaulters can be individuals, partnerships or companies.
  • The taxman will decide who goes into the MDD programme.
  • Taxpayers who made a full disclosure and got the maximum penalty reduction will not be put on the programme.
  • HMRC will tell taxpayers if they are subject to the Managing Deliberate Defaulters programme and will explain what is required of them.
  • A defaulter will be monitored for between two and five years.
  • Defaulters will come out of the programme once HMRC is satisfied that they are meeting their oblations and are no longer a high risk.
  • The degree of monitoring will depend on the gravity and nature of the original offence.
  • HMRC will monitor whether the taxpayer keeps their tax returns, payments, etc up to date.
  • The taxman will check returns to see if they are accurate and to see that any errors or failings have been put right.
  • Tax compliance officers may carry out further monitoring, e.g. making inspection visits (which might be unannounced), requesting further documentation to support returns, conducting in-depth compliance checks or checking with third parties (e.g. supplies or customers).
  • Businesses in the MDD must provide full accounts (i.e. not three-line ones or the short version of the Self-employed pages) with their tax returns.
  • There is no minimum figure of tax evaded for the taxpayer to be included in MDD.
  • There is a £5,000 lower threshold for being asked to providing additional information alongside the return.
  • Monitoring will extend across all the defaulter’s activities, not just the area where the evasion occurred. E.g. A builder who under declared rental income could have his Construction Industry Scheme records checked.
  • If defaulters try to escape scrutiny by closing a business and starting a new one, HMRC can monitor the new business and/or the individuals who controlled the old one.
  • If the taxpayer fails to meet the required standards, HMRC may use its formal powers to investigate, and could start criminal proceedings.
  • There is no right of appeal against inclusion in MDD although the taxpayer can discuss it with the taxman or make a formal complaint.
  • MDD can be used in addition to the power which HMRC has to publish details of deliberate defaulters where the tax lost is £25,000 or more (i.e. Naming and Shaming).

How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Specialists help me?
If you are undergoing a tax investigation or a compliance check then specialist help from Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts could save your blushes and your business.  Plus, our massive experience will almost certainly save you tax and penalties as well.

*For a free, confidential chat about your tax affairs, don’t delay, call:

Paul Lynam 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Decorator’s Book-keeping Wife Found Guilty

April 2nd, 2015

The wife of a Margate-based decorator caught fiddling the business books in order to allow her husband to over-claim business expenses; was found guilty of tax fraud and sentenced this week.  Plus, she’s been ordered to repay £18,706 to HMRC.

Amanda Tillings, aged 48, was responsible for looking after the books of her husband’s painting and decorating business, and for submitting his tax returns.  Between 2010 and 2014 she tried to claim nearly £19,000 worth of tax repayments which weren’t due – by putting personal expenditure through the business books.   When HM Revenue & Customs tax investigators examined the books they discovered non-allowable expenditure including: personal vet’s bills; family food shopping; a car for her daughter; a personalised number plate; ladies’ shoes; and even the cost of a bereavement notice in the local paper for her late father-in-law.

She pleaded guilty to the tax fraud offence at Canterbury Crown Court and was sentenced to 12 months in prison (suspended for 2 years); ordered to do 200 hours community work; and repay £18,706.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
We have decades of extensive practical experience in managing tax disclosures and tax fraud investigations.  If you have irregularities in your tax affairs we can advise you on your best course of action.  If appropriate, we will help you with any disclosure.  If you are already under criminal investigation we can assist in the preparation of the defence case.  We can help get the best possible outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call


Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997


Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Tax Dodging Preacher Convicted

March 27th, 2015

A self-employed pastor, who had not registered with HMRC, and then declined the opportunity to settle his affairs on a civil basis, using Code Of Practice 9 was sentenced at the Old Bailey this week for “Cheating the Public Revenue.”

Jerome Uba Anekwe, aged 42 from Kings Langley in Hertfordshire preached at the El-Shaddai Christian Centre, Golders Green, London, from 2004 to 2009 but he never registered with HM Revenue and Customs as self-employed, and didn’t declare any of his £238,000 earnings, thus evading Income Tax of £72,000.

When HMRC discovered this, they gave him the opportunity to clear matters up on civil lines: that is by paying the tax, interest and penalties rather than facing a prosecution.  They issued him with COP9 (“Investigations where we suspect tax fraud”).  But he declined the offer to make a full disclosure: leaving HMRC with little choice but to prosecute him.

HMRC’s Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation said: “This sends a clear message that we will try and give people a chance to put their affairs in order, but if they refuse to we will take firm action”.

Anekwe pleaded guilty to Cheating the Public Revenue and was sentenced to: 2 years imprisonment (suspended for two years); ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work; and pay costs of £2,500.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
We have decades of extensive practical experience in managing tax disclosures and tax fraud investigations.  If you have irregularities in your tax affairs we can advise you on your best course of action.  If appropriate, we will help you with any disclosure.  If you are already under criminal investigation we can assist in the preparation of the defence case.  We can help get the best possible outcome for you, your business and your family.

*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call


Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997


Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

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