HMRC interview under caution solicitors Birmingham

HMRC interview under caution

HMRC interviews under caution

If you have been invited to an HMRC interview under caution, this means that HMRC (His Majesty’s Revenue and Customers) want to speak to you about possible irregularities with your taxes and are considering prosecution. You are under no obligation to attend but it is recommended that you seek the advice of a solicitor who specialises in HMRC cases to advise you on whether or not attendance would be best in the circumstances.

Once you have been invited to an HMRC interview under caution, you are advised to seek advice from a lawyer experienced in HMRC investigations as soon as possible. We constantly represent individuals who are being investigated by HMRC. We can give you the best advice so that you do not inadvertently admit to any wrongdoing and do our best to show that an investigation by HMRC would be unnecessary. If appropriate, we will negotiate a settlement with HMRC that avoids court proceedings and possible conviction and sentence.

If you would like to speak to an solicitor who specialises in HMRC interviews under caution, call us on 0121 309 0013, email us at or fill in our contact form.


What is an HMRC Interview Under Caution?

An HMRC interview under caution simply means that the HMRC wants to ask you some questions to establish your tax position. This does not guarantee that they will commence a prosecution, but it is a real possibility.

You may be invited for an interview under caution if the HMRC suspects you of any of the following:


What will happen in an HMRC Interview Under Caution?

At the HMRC interview under caution you will be asked questions by HMRC officers (usually no more than one or two). If you are the subject of a joint investigation, a representative of another government branch, such as the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) may attend alongside a HMRC officer.

You are not obliged to answer any of the questions, but if the matter goes to court it may reflect badly on your credibility if you rely on an explanation you did not give in the interview. On the other hand, the questions may relate to complex matters that took place years previously and answering questions may risk innocently providing inaccurate information. There is a balance to be struck and our experienced solicitors who regularly attend HMRC interviews under caution will advise you as to the best approach.

The interview should start with the interviewer giving you a caution reminding you of your rights, including the right to remain silent. The full caution is as follows: “You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you say may be given in evidence…”

Because of this you should always consider mentioning any facts in the interview that you would want to rely on in court. This is something that your solicitor will be able to help you with.

The interview will be audio recorded. In some circumstances it may be video recorded. We can advise you about this. In certain circumstances, you may have the right to request a transcript of the interview to ensure that you agree with the content of the interview. It is also advisable that you take your own notes during the interview. This is something that your solicitor will do if you are represented.

Although the specific questions will vary depending on the nature of the offence you are accused of, all questions in the HMRC interview under caution will relate to your tax affairs as that is the HMRC’s remit. If there is an interviewer from another department, due to being a part of a joint investigation, then the questions asked may vary even further. You can also expect to be questioned about your lifestyle.

At the end of the interview, the recording will be sealed to prevent any changes being made to it. You will be asked to sign this seal to confirm that you witnessed it. You will also receive written information as to what will happen next.


What happens after an HMRC Interview Under Caution?

After the interview, the HMRC may request a further meeting. They will inform you that either the investigation against you will be dropped or that it will progress. You could be offered a formal caution and an administrative penalty. You have a choice in whether or not to accept the caution and penalty. You can receive legal advice about which option to take.

If, following the interview the HMRC decide to progress the investigation this could result in a prosecution.


How long does it take for a decision to be made by HMRC after an HMRC interview under caution?

HMRC will typically inform you of their decision within three months of the meeting. If they believe it will take longer to reach a decision, they will inform you or your solicitor in writing.


Defending allegations made in an HMRC Interview Under Caution

The defence to allegations being made by HMRC will depend upon the specific offence that you are charged with. However, most offences will be defended by proving that there is a legitimate explanation for any discrepancies that the HMRC is concerned with or by showing that they do not have enough evidence to prove the alleged offence to the required standard. Our solicitors will discuss the specifics of your case with you to explain what your best possible defence would be.


Legal representation for an HMRC Interview Under Caution.

It is important that you do not ignore a request to attend an HMRC interview under caution and seek a solicitor to advise you. HMRC matters can often be complex, so it is important that you are advised by a specialist solicitor.

We will accompany you to the interview and ensure you do not give or withhold any information that may be harmful to your case.

If your case does go to court, we can ensure that you have expert representation and the strongest possible defence.


Contact our Birmingham HMRC interview under caution specialist solicitors

To reiterate, it is highly advisable to speak to an HMRC solicitor as soon as possible if you find out that you are being asked to attend an interview under caution. A criminal conviction can be damaging and once you have been convicted, it will stay on your record for many years. A conviction also carries the risk of imprisonment, possibly for several years. In addition, you may be ordered to pay HMRC’s costs of bringing the case and be subject to Confiscation Proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

If you ask us to represent you, we will start work straightaway, establishing what has happened and advising you of the best course of action.

To speak to an experienced HMRC interview under caution solicitor in Birmingham, call us on 0121 309 0013, email us at or fill in our contact form.

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