RBS staff arrested under suspicion of criminal tax fraud

One former and four current investment employees at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have been arrested in a tax investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) into a tax evasion case thought to involve at least another two banks….

On Wednesday 8 February 2012 the five former and current employees were arrested at their homes in a sequence of raids by HM Revenue and Customs following allegations that film finance schemes have been adopted in order to evade paying taxes.

The Daily Telegraph have said that over 16 people in total are thought to have been arrested in connection to a tax evasion ‘film’ scheme and that:

“Documents seen by The Daily Telegraph suggest staff at a number of other City firms, including at least two banks, a stock brokerage and a wealth management firm, are involved in the alleged tax evasion scheme.”

The tax evasion investigation by HMRC is centred on the “illegal use of film finance to evade thousands of pounds in income and other taxes” The Daily Telegraph added.

Alleged tax evasion offences are said to date back five years and RBS employees suspected of criminal tax fraud would have had to announce their union with the film schemes if starting their jobs with Royal Bank of Scotland after 2007.

HMRC confirmed the five arrests on 11th February stating:

“As a result of an ongoing HMRC investigation into tax-related criminal offenses, HMRC has arrested a number of people, some of whom work for UK banks.

“This investigation related to the actions of the people arrested in relation to their own financial affairs and is not connected to the business activities of the banks.”

Film investments look to promote the UK film industry and offer incentives for those taking part in the scheme; however these schemes have been thought to have been pursued to avoid tax in an illegal manner .

The Government are now tightening the net on the abuse of film finance by the wealthy who try to avoid paying tax through use of the schemes. Unless ‘actively involved’ in the film they are funding film finance schemes allow investors to claim up to £25,000 tax relief per year.

Royal Bank of Scotland has declined to comment as the ongoing tax evasion investigation by HMRC continues.

Kevin Kinsella, of KinsellaTax, said:

“The original film financing is very straight forward and can be a benefit to the hard pressed English film scene. I shall be interested to see how and if the system was different.

“Of course it is right to say that we should presume the arrested parties are guilty, the trouble is that there is a huge hullabaloo over tax evasion (fraud) and tax avoidance (legal).”

Have you received a tax enquiry letter from HMRC or been suspected of tax evasion?

Tax evasion is a serious tax offence and a small percentage of cases end in criminal tax prosecution.

KinsellaTax advise that you appoint a tax evasion expert to handle your tax evasion enquiry from HMRC.

KinsellaTax staff consists of ex-HM Inspector of Taxes and ex-HM Custom and Excise Officers fully experienced in all types of HMRC investigations.

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