Press release -
Five promoters arrested on suspicion of loan charge fraud
Four men and one woman have been arrested on suspicion of fraud in connection with promoting arrangements designed to get around paying the loan charge.
More than 100 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers searched business premises in Birmingham and further addresses in Coventry, Worcestershire, Northumberland, Buckinghamshire and Northern Ireland. Officers seized computers, other digital devices, as well as business and personal records.
A spokesman from HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service said:
“Those that enable, promote or facilitate tax fraud are firmly in our sights and we currently have more than 200 such suspected enablers under criminal investigation.
“We are keen to protect the public from those who devise and market fraudulent schemes which at best do not work and at worse mean that people could end up being involved in fraud.
“People need to think extremely carefully before they enter into any scheme that claims to significantly lower your tax bill. If something looks too good to be true, then it almost certainly is. HMRC’s advice is firmly to steer clear.”
All five people arrested will be interviewed under caution by HMRC officers.
A sixth person, a 39-year-old woman from Birmingham, will attend a voluntary interview under caution.
The interventions are the latest in a series where HMRC is investigating fraud offences related to disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes.
No further information can be released at this time as investigations are ongoing.
Notes for Editors
1. HMRC officers searched various business and residential premises on 27 February 2020.
2. HMRC officers arrested:
- A 57-year-old man from Birmingham.
- A 60-year-old man from Buckinghamshire.
- A 54-year-old man from Worcestershire.
- A 50-year-old woman from Northumberland.
- A 43-year-old man from Coventry.
3. Officers are investigating a number of alleged offences, including conspiracy to cheat the public revenue; conspiracy to evade Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions; fraud by abuse of position and conspiracy to transfer, disguise and/or convert criminal property.
4. Tax evasion is illegal and normally involves using fraudulent methods, such as false documents, to reduce a tax liability. Anyone with information about suspected tax fraud can contact the HMRC Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887 or report it online
5. Tax avoidance often involves the use of artificial or contrived arrangements to exploit a perceived loophole in legislation. The vast majority of tax avoidance schemes do not work and those who use them may end up having to pay much more than the tax they tried to avoid, including penalties.
6. Disguised remuneration (DR) schemes are contrived arrangements that pay loans in place of an ordinary remuneration, usually through an offshore trust, with the purpose of avoiding Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs). The loans are provided on terms that mean they are not repaid in practice. HMRC has never approved tax avoidance schemes. More details can be found here and here.
7. The Government recently announced further action to tackle promoters of tax avoidance [in their response to the Independent Loan Charge review]. Further information can be found here
8. Anyone who is worried about paying their tax bill should contact HMRC on 03000 599 110. HMRC has an outstanding record in supporting those facing difficulty paying what they owe.
9. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.