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Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539
Rapid Response Team: 0800 559 3500
Switchboard: +44 (0)203 947 1539

The effect of increasing the maximum jail sentence for tax fraud is assessed by Nicola Sharp

Author: Nicola Sharp  20 April 2023

Posted in : HMRC - Tax and VAT.

Nicola Sharp wrote about the possible impact of raising the maximum jail sentence for tax fraud.

In her article, which was published by Fraud Intelligence, Nicola considers the government’s announcement of plans to double the maximum sentence for the “most egregious” forms of tax fraud from seven to 14 years.

She explains that the increase may affect the business affairs of many firms and individuals, given the various activities that can constitute tax fraud.

Nicola adds that while the government would prefer to have the maximum sentence increase work as a deterrent, much will depend on how effectively it conveys the message that it is coming down hard on tax fraud. This, she believes, may be difficult given its lack of success in tackling fraud in recent years, particularly regarding fraud relating to coronavirus support schemes.

She concludes that while the new sentence is intended to represent the government getting tough on tax fraud, it could have only a limited deterrent effect and may not be used regularly.

The full article can be read here (subscription required).

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Nicola Sharp


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Nicola is known for her fraud, civil recovery, arbitration and business crime expertise, her experience of leading the largest financial disputes and multinational investigations and her skills in devising preventative measures and conducting internal investigations for corporates.

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