DPP Business Tax

PAYE and Payroll Fraud

One of the major duties of a business owner is to ensure that their company correctly adheres to the legal requirements of PAYE tax and payroll. If HMRC has reason to believe that an organisation has failed to do so, its management may be subject to PAYE or payroll fraud accusations and investigated under the Fraud Act 2006.

How Can DBT & Partners Help?

The specialist PAYE fraud solicitors at DBT & Partners have a lengthy history of successfully defending clients against accusations of fraud, tax evasion and other financial offences. We recommend that you provide us with as much evidence as you can to prove that you and your business are innocent of wrongdoing, or that any mistakes made were honest ones that involved no purposeful deceit.

Our payroll fraud solicitors will be able to argue your case and present a strong defence, ensuring that your company achieves the fairest possible results.

Matters Related to PAYE and Payroll Fraud

If there are discrepancies within your submitted PAYE or payroll information, you may be accused of:

For this reason, making contact with trusted PAYE fraud solicitors is a highly recommended step, as the penalties for many of the above offences can prove extremely severe.

Investigations into PAYE Fraud Accusations

Few business owners know what to expect during a PAYE investigation. If you have been the subject of PAYE fraud accusations or allegations of payroll misdemeanours, the subsequent investigation will take place at your business premises, and will usually be conducted by two HMRC officers who will look into:

  • How you pay wages and salaries, their regularity, fairness and accuracy
  • The processes you have in place to record and report all expenses and benefits
  • The reasons behind the employment status of all self-employed staff, and how they are paid
  • Any redundancy payments

They will require access to all relevant books and records, and will take the opportunity to obtain and examine any information they feel will come in useful for their colleagues at the HMRC office. HMRC has the right to take copies of any documents they require.

You must ensure that any staff members who have dealings with your company’s PAYE and payroll systems are present throughout the investigation, as they may be required to ask questions posed to them by the investigating officers.

Payroll Fraud: Frequently Asked Questions

What is PAYE/payroll fraud?

This term refers to any type of illegally dishonest or deceitful behaviour relating to your employees’ Pay As You Earn tax or the methods you utilise to remunerate them for their work. It could constitute paying employees as freelancers to avoid sick leave or holiday payments or embezzled funds being disguised as payments to a non-existent staff member, for example.

What constitutes PAYE/payroll fraud?

The National Audit Office defines tax fraud as “where registered individuals or businesses deliberately omit, conceal or misrepresent information to HMRC to reduce their tax liabilities.” They further define PAYE fraud as “a business not paying over to HMRC all of

the PAYE it has deducted from its employees’ pay”. Payroll fraud, on the other hand, may also include embezzlement of amounts that are claimed to have been paid to employees, evasion of financial benefits for which staff members should be legally eligible, and other offences of this kind.

What is the maximum penalty for PAYE/payroll fraud?

Most tax fraud offences are punishable by up to 7 years in prison, but on the occasion where an individual is found guilty of cheating the public revenue, there is the possibility of a life sentence. For this reason, engaging experienced PAYE or payroll fraud solicitors is a must for anyone facing fraud-related charges.

DBT & Partners PAYE fraud solicitors have over 30 years worth of experience in the field and will provide you with all of the advice, support and representation you require to fight your case. Get in touch with us today for assistance from some of the UK’s top payroll fraud solicitors and taxation law specialists.

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