Tax Collecting from Crime
One of the most controversial parts of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, is Section 317 which allows the National Crime Agency (‘NCA’) and previously the Serious Organised Crime Agency (‘SOCA’) to take over “general Revenue Functions”, in other words the role of Tax Collector traditionally occupied by HMRC. This power allows NCA to carry out the role of tax collection and recover tax due, for example, from profitable criminal activity. There is no requirement for a criminal conviction; an alleged drug dealer may be taxed on his profits even where no criminal charges are brought.
These proceedings are specialist in nature and are frequently misunderstood by practitioners, or are left with accountants to deal with. Early involvement of legal advisors is essential in order to ensure not only the best possible outcome, but to ensure that material provided during such investigations does not prejudice clients and lead to prosecutions for related offences such as money laundering. It is essential to be proactive and we have been able to successfully challenge revenue assessments, and negotiate settlements.
Clarke Kiernan’s solicitors have been involved in some of the first and leading cases concerning the challenging of demands for tax received under this power which are then heard before the Special Commissioners and the High Court. We work with forensic accountants and other experts whose roles are often essential in cases of this type.
If you require any legal advice on this type of proceedings please contact xx to discuss a fee structure and strategy.
Clarke Kiernan, Business and Criminal Law Solicitors,