Expert Witness Work
There are very few expert witnesses able to offer our high levels of experience and training from both within HM Revenue and Customs and private practice.
As accredited expert witnesses, our credentials are unsurpassed in the field of HMRC and tax disputes, and thus our expert witness capability for HMRC is significant.
We are also able to provide expert witness support in non-tax areas such as financial work in divorce cases, reconstitution of lost profits or employee fraud cases.
HMRC were seeking to confiscate £350,000 cash seized from a person who had a cash-generative business who HMRC alleged had failed to declare all his business income. The cash had been seized in a raid on the client’s home and HMRC were alleging criminal conduct and seeking to confiscate all of the cash. The client maintained that, whilst a proportion of the cash was from undeclared income, the bulk of it was from non-taxable sources.
In support of its confiscation claim, HMRC relied upon an HMRC forensic accountant’s reconstruction of business results that showed undeclared takings of £600,000. We were instructed by the defendant’s solicitor to review the HMRC report, identify any inaccuracies in the report and to comment upon our findings under cross examination in Court during the Proceeds of Crime Act hearing. Our review indicated that the HMRC report relied upon flawed and untested data, ignored the actual circumstances and facts. Furthermore, the methodology employed in the report did not accord with HMRC own instruction for the reconstruction of business results.
To produce more reliable findings, we undertook a business records reconstruction using HMRC approved methods (which HMRC had failed to do) and produced more reliable results by reviewing current transactions and projecting the results back into earlier periods. Our research indicated that the undeclared income was £100,000 rather than the £600,000 suggested by HMRC.
We were cross-examined in court and were able to successfully advocate that the results we had produced were more reliable than HMRC’s results, as they were based upon accurate data and had been arrived at using HMRC’s own investigative techniques.
At the end of the hearing we were praised by the Judge for the high quality of our work, and the Judge agreed that our findings were correct and should displace HMRC’s results.
The outcome of the case was that the Judge instructed HMRC to repay £200,000 as a result of our work.
This case study shows the value of an awareness of HMRC procedures and an instinct for the best way to tackle a challenging assignment.
How can we help
We have been dealing with HMRC related troubles for a combined period of over 150 years, having dealt with hundreds of cases both as former HMRC Investigators and assisting and supporting clients in our time in practice. Our clients tell us that they value our extensive knowledge and genuine "hands on" accessible and no nonsense approach to any matter involving HMRC and disputes and difficulties with them.
We operate nationally, or internationally, and are not tied to our desks.
We believe in giving a clear and no nonsense level of support with affordable fees and costs. Our pricing structure is affordable, and we will fix budgets for our engagements avoiding the traditional open-ended, "on the clock" approach of larger firms and our competitors.
To discuss this with us on a non-judgemental, discrete and no-cost basis call our helpline 0800 001 6686 or contact us today.
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