Grant Thornton warns that
legislation which gives HM
Revenue & Customs (HMRC) powers under the police and criminal evidence
act 1984 (PACE 1984) to reclaim unpaid taxes is likely to be exercised soon.
Gary Ashford, a director within Grant Thornton’s national tax investigations
group told the Financial Times that the new legislation, which was
implemented December, 1 would permit HMRC to search, seize and arrest in
relation to unpaid tax, as well forcing banks, lawyers and accountants to hand
over information if serious fraud were perceived.
‘It is interesting to note that HMRC is currently advertising for criminal
investigation officers in London, Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham,
which seems to indicate that those new powers will be put into use very soon,’
Grant Thornton warned the new regulations could be used against those who
came forward during HMRC’s offshore disclosure facility.
Earlier this year, HMRC offered a limited window of opportunity for taxpayers
to get their affairs in order and disclose information left off their tax
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