Tribunal Admit Criminal Case Evidence


A Tribunal judge has ruled that HMRC can use criminal evidence in relation to non-tax matters (e.g. criminal proceedings).

Megantic Services Limited appealed against a case management decision of the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) permitting the taxman to introduce evidence provided by the Dutch Public Prosecutor to HMRC under the Crime (International Co-operation) Act.

The Judge ruled that a previous case (BOC) meant HMRC were not precluded from using the evidence obtained in a criminal context for the purpose of civil proceedings.

Megantic also argued that the evidence was unreliable. The Judge confirmed that Tribunal Rules allow it to admit evidence, whether or not the evidence would be admissible in a civil trial, and that it is for the Tribunal to decide on the value to be given to that evidence.

This case involved MTIC tax fraud.  But the implications are much wider.  It means that evidence given in other settings (e.g. an employment tribunal, a divorce hearing, disputed insurance claim) can be used in tax appeals.

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