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Advice, post-Grabiner: risks and key issues

Category Technical Articles
AuthorTechnical Department
Article by Oliver Plunkett, practising criminal barrister at Bell Yard Chambers. This article appeared in the June 2006 issue of Tax Adviser.
The inspiration for this article was the suggestion that HMRC tape recorders have been mothballed and that HMRC investigators are no longer required to adhere to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. This is not quite true. Moreover, experience suggests that when errant non-payers of tax are contacted by HMRC< they are as likely to approach a tax adviser or accountant as they are a solicitor. This is perfectly reasonable, not least since the defence in a crimianl tax case may well be founded on Revenue law. Either way it is crucial for the adviser to understand what is being alleged.

The author hopes to identify some of the risks involved in giving advice in these circumstances and the key issues to be borne in mind if you do. In particular, he will focus on offences contrary to FA 2000 s144, known as 'Grabiner' cases, although some of the principles apply to all prosecutions.

Technical Department
020 7235 9381

June 2006 by Oliver Plunkett


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