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Taxman pays snitches £400K

November 25th, 2014

Last year over 90,000 contacted the taxman with tipoffs about alleged tax evasion.  And some of these informers were paid out of HMRC’s special slush fund: with the total amount paid out being over £400,000: according to a report by Kyle Caldwell, and Dan Hyde in The Daily Telegraph.

Most of the would-be informants are telephoning HMRC’s hotline: at the rate of 250 people per day!  But only a very small percentage of these receive payments: which usually range from £50 – £1,000.  It’s generally believed that the most informants are acting maliciously, and provide very poor quality, or false, information. However, HMRC clearly believe they get a lot of valuable tip-offs, as the amount they’ve paid out has gone up by more than 30% since the previous year.

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

Tax Dodging Cop Doc Dodges Jail

November 18th, 2014

A doctor who did forensic medical examinations for the Metropolitan Police and fiddled over £300,000 of tax, was found guilty of tax fraud this week -  but got away with a slap on the wrist at Isleworth Crown Court this week.

For over 11 years, Dr Khaled Yasin, aged 64 of Pickering House, Windmill Road, Ealing, under-declared £650,000 of his income from the Met., where he worked as a Forensic Medical Examiner. He evaded £300,000 of taxes and now also owes £50,000 in interest.

His massive tax evasion was uncovered by the tax inspectors when they examined information they had gathered as part of their HMRC Tax Health Plan Disclosure Campaign.  If he had come forward and made a voluntary disclosure when was campaign running he would not have been prosecuted.  On the other hand, he would have had to pay financial penalties: which he will now avoid as he has received a criminal record instead.

He was found guilty of 8 charges of Cheating the Public Revenue contrary to Common Law; and was given a 2 year suspended sentence and was ordered to do 200 hours of community work.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations.  If you are worried about a tax enquiry 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: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Ghost Goes To Jail

November 13th, 2014

Scott Paul Petrie registered with HMRC as self-employed, and he ran a business trading in aggregates and clearing rubbish: but he had never sent in a tax return or VAT return.  The HMRC’s Hidden Economy Team (“The Ghostbusters”) found him, and now he’s going to jail.

Petrie, aged 50 from Hertford, was challenged by the taxman’s ghostbuster team.  At first he said his cash sales for 2003-2011 were about £137,000.  The tax investigators used his bank statements to estimate that his income 2005 was over £589,000: on which he should have paid about £194,000 in Tax, National Insurance, and VAT.

He was charged with the fraudulent evasion of Income Tax, National Insurance, and VAT: and he was sentenced to 21 months in prison when he appeared at Luton Crown Court on 6 November.  A confiscation hearing to recover the proceeds of crime will follow.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations.  If you are worried about a tax enquiry 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: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

85 Countries Sign OECD Pact to Share Bank Data

November 6th, 2014

51 countries pledged to automatically swap bank data and tax information at an OECD conference in Berlin last week, as part of the recent coordinated global efforts to clamp down on tax fraud; particularly by those using offshore bank accounts to hide their wealth.

There are 51 “early adopters”: jurisdictions which will obtain and share details on bank accounts from 2017; including: the UK, most EU countries, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Liechtenstein, Mexico and South Korea.   An additional 34 countries have promised to join in after 2018; including Switzerland, Hong Kong, Monaco and Russia.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development agreement meant that “banking secrecy has had its day.”

What does this mean for me?
If you are a UK tax payer with undeclared historic tax irregularities, and an offshore bank account, then it is increasingly certain that detailed information on that account will be passed to HMRC in the next few years.  The tax authority would then carry out an investigation: possibly with a view to a criminal prosecution.  There are still opportunities under the current offshore tax amnesties to make disclosures on favourable terms.  Most beneficial of these is the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility.  This doesn’t require any prior link to the principality, but the deadline for registering does expire in 2016.

How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts help me?

Our Tax Disclosure Specialists have a huge amount of experience in dealing with voluntary disclosures in respect of UK residents with offshore bank accounts. We have the training, knowledge, skills and deep experience to manage your offshore disclosure to HMRC.  We can reduce the stress and get the best solution for you.

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

Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Voluntary Disclosure Campaign for Businesses Taking Card Payments

October 23rd, 2014

The latest Campaign in HMRC’s ongoing targeted voluntary tax disclosure programme is open to businesses that accept credit or debit card payments – but have not included all the transactions in their accounts or tax returns.

The taxman is warning that it “has details of all credit and debit card payments to UK businesses” and that information will be “used to identify individuals and businesses that might not have paid what they owe”.

HM Revenue & Customs’ Campaigns are targeted voluntary tax disclosure opportunities aimed at specific groups of taxpayers.  During the Campaign taxpayers in the target group can make a full disclosure of under-declared profits using a simplified method, and get the lowest possible penalties.  In this latest Campaign, businesses that accept credit card or debit card payments but have not included all those sales in their accounts – can come forward and put their tax affairs straight – before HMRC comes to them.  HMRC caution that:  “You could face higher penalties or criminal prosecution if you don’t make a voluntary disclosure now and HMRC finds out that you’ve failed to declare all your income”.

How can Lynam Tax Disclosure Experts help me?

Lynam Tax partners have a vast amount of practical experience in managing tax disclosures: including through the various Campaigns and also the Offshore Disclosure Facilities.    We can advise you on the best course of action and if appropriate, help you manage any necessary disclosures, 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

or Andrew Nutbrown on 07718 778710

Cheating Lying Lawyer Jailed

October 22nd, 2014

A tax dodging barrister has felt the full force of the law: getting a 3 year prison term for Cheating the Public Revenue; plus 6 months for perjury.

A barrister from Henley-on-Thames, Michael Roberts aged 58, left chambers in 2007 and set up as a self-employed legal professional specialising in insolvency cases and company law.   Within a year he was declared bankrupt, owing the taxman more than £700K tax.  The majority of that debt was never paid.  Despite the bankruptcy he carried on trading – but did not declare his earnings or pay tax, even though he was issuing invoices and charging his clients VAT using an old registration number.  Roberts was arrested in July 2012 and later charged with Common Cheat, as well as perjury, including falsely denying he had traded after his Bankruptcy Order.  He was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on 17 October 2014.

How Could Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations.  If you are worried about a tax enquiry 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: 0845 643 9997

Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710

Can Tax Avoidance be a Crime?

October 20th, 2014

There has been a long time debate about the difference between tax evasion (which is a crime) and Tax Avoidance (which generally is not).

The taxman gave his view very neatly back in 1997 when the Chief Inspector at the time (John Gribbon) said:
“If an ‘avoidance’ scheme relies on misrepresentation, deception and concealment of the full facts, then avoidance is a misnomer; the scheme would be more accurately described as fraud, and would fall to be dealt with as such.  Where fraud is involved, it cannot be re-characterised as avoidance by cloaking the behaviour with artificial structures, contrived transactions and esoteric arguments as to how the tax law should be applied to these structures and transactions.  Fraud is fraud, common cheat is common cheat and the application of tax law to ‘pretend’ situations is something of an irrelevance.”

Although HMRC could theoretically prosecute all tax fraud (including say a taxi driver putting a fiver in his back pocket) in fact they prefer to “take the money” and settle cases by way of a so-called civil settlement, rather than launching a criminal prosecution.  The larger of these cases are dealt with under the Contractual Disclosure Facility (Code of Practice 9) procedures and guarantee non-prosecution, in return for full disclosure.

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

or Andrew Nutbrown on:  07718 778710

Can I get Cash back from the tax man? Overpayment Relief Claims

October 19th, 2014

Overpayment Relief Claims (ORC) enables both companies and individuals to recover tax from the Taxman where an error or mistake has been made in their tax return.

Claims must be made within 4 years of the end of the relevant tax year or accounting period, e.g. claims for the Income tax year 2010/11 must be made by 5 April 2015; claims for a company Accounting Period ended 31 March 2011 would have to be made by 30 March 2015.

Overpayment Relief is not due where the Overpayment Relief arose as a result of “a practice generally prevailing at that time.”

The approach to HMRC should be made appropriately, minimising the potential for a full enquiry, to secure the repayment as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Lynam Tax Dispute Experts have decades of experience in sorting out contentious issues with the taxman.

*For a free and totally confidential initial discussion call Paul Lynam now on:  0845 643 9997

or Andrew Nutbrown on:  07718 778710

Psychological Warfare on Tax Evaders

October 16th, 2014

The taxman is now using behavioural psychologists to draft letters to errant taxpayers: in order to “guilt-trip” them into sorting out their tax affairs.

The Coalition’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Danny Alexander) speaking at his party’s conference threatened: “Tax dodgers beware – we know where you live, we know how much you owe, and now we know how you think. Your behaviour is unacceptable, and we are coming for our money”.

Where people have tax arrears, HMRC frequently send out so-called “nudge” letters to encourage them to pay up: e.g. 5,000 such letters were sent to UK residents holding Swiss accounts earlier this year.

Apparently HMRC’s team of so-called “behavioural economists” to advise them on the psychology of tax compliance and to subtly refine the wording of the “nudge” letters.

HMRC have adopted a well-known psychological concept:  “social proof”.  In his book “Influence, Science and Practice”, the renowned psychologist Robert Cialdini says: “The principle of social proof states that we view a behaviour as correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it”.   The social-proofed letters emphasise the behaviour of the “great majority”:  using phrases like “most people with a debt like yours have now paid it”.

Cialdini also emphasises the importance of “similarity”, saying “the principle of social proof operates most powerfully when we are observing the behaviour of people just like us”.  HMRC have picked up on this so that often local comparisons are used, such as “9 out of 10 people in [your town] pay their tax on time”.

The revised letters also seem, at first glance, to appeal to people’s moral and social obligations.  For instance, HMRC say that taxpayers who owed more than £30,000 were 20% more likely to respond when letters claimed that the taxes are used to “essential” public services.  In fact, these letters also rely on a well-known psychological trick.  Robert Cialdini points out that when we ask someone to perform an action for us “we will be more successful if we provide a reason”: the “because” effect.  Effectively HMRC are saying people should pay up because the money is used for spending!

It seems to be working as the tax authority claim that the changes in wording have already helped it collect £210 million extra tax each year.

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

Greater Yield from Residence and Domicile Tax Investigations

October 7th, 2014

In the last tax HMRC’s yield from investigations into residence and domicile issues went up 27% from the previous year to £154 million, according to a report by Adam Palin in the Financial Times last week.

Many of these tax enquiries are looking at the affairs of so-called “inbounds”, that is people who have recently arrived in the UK, often on short-term or dual contracts whilst working for large multinationals, frequently in the financial services sector.   The taxman attributed the extra yield (i.e. of tax, interest and penalties) to “effective investigation of residence, and domicile status of the individuals seconded to the UK.”

Despite new guidelines from the tax authority in its booklet HMRC6, a complete overhaul of the rules relating to domicile from 2008 onwards, and the introduction of the Statutory Residence Test for the tax year 2014/15 onwards, the issues relating to non-doms and the issues surrounding UK tax residence and non-residence remain complex and confusing: to the extent that not only the typical layman, but even the majority of accountants and tax advisers who do not do not specialise in this area, frequently find them quite baffling.  It is not surprising therefore that many mistakes are made, and that the tax investigators find this a lucrative hunting ground.

Lynam Tax enquiry experts have helped many non-domiciled individuals save large sums by careful analysis of their affairs and the correct application of complex legal principles: which a large number of tax inspectors seem to misunderstand.  Also, dealing with a Tax Residence enquiry or a domicile or remittance dispute requires specialist knowledge, deep experience and a proven methodology in getting investigations and disputes resolved.

If you need more information about this complex issue then phone today for a free, confidential, no obligation discussion.  Call:

Paul Lynam : 0845 643 9997  or

Andrew Nutbrown : 0771 877 8710

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