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Cheating the public revenue

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HMRC has indicted two ex-Vantis accountants and their wives on criminal charges of cheating the public revenue. This offence applies to all taxes, duties and charges within the care and management of HMRC. On conviction, it carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. Cheating can be committed by any fraudulent diversion of money away from HMRC. Fraud is conduct which is deliberate and dishonest, and done knowing one has no right to do it. Tax advisers should take extra care to ensure that schemes are properly and accurately implemented. Those involved in the design and promotion of schemes may wish to consider whether a jury might consider any element of the scheme a ‘sham’.

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