The approach taken by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to tackle tax evasion and money laundering was the subject of a Law Society Gazette article featuring Rahman Ravelli’s Nicola Sharp.
The article examined HMRC’s increasing use in recent years of civil remedies. These include forfeiture orders and account freezing orders, which were introduced by the Criminal Finances Act 2017. Unexplained wealth orders (UWOs), which were also introduced by the 2017 Act, are another option available to HMRC.
Nicola explained that, unlike account freezing orders, a UWO must be applied for at the High Court by the HMRC or whichever authority is seeking it. That authority must satisfy the court that there is reasonable cause to believe that the individual holds assets of more than £50,000, that there are reasonable grounds to suspect the person’s lawful income could not explain the ownership of the property and that the person has been involved in serious crime or is a non-EEA politically exposed person.
Nicola's comments featured in the Law Society Gazette.