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New Instructions for LNL Fraud & Criminal Defence Lawyers

suit-in-handcuffsSiobhain Egan is instructed in three new matters:

  • A senior City professional facing high profile FCA / criminal proceedings.
  • A £multimillion VAT investigation.
  • A London-wide money transfer / Bureau de Change business facing investigation by the Metropolitan Police for money laundering. She is also advising on ICO and AML issues that have arisen.

Jeffrey Lewis is instructed in a large-scale insurance fraud allegation.

Keith Wood is advising and representing in two HMRC company tax investigations.

Tony Meisels has been instructed to represent a professional man facing historic abuse allegations.

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The Magnitsky Campaign Opens another Front in Norway – By Siobhain Egan

human rightsThe Financial Times (22 April 2014) reports that Bill Browder and the Magnitsky Campaign are working with the Norwegian Human Rights Group ‘The Norwegian Helsinki Committee’, and intend to present evidence to senior Norwegian prosecutors and request a criminal investigation into Oleg Silchenko and two prison guards for allegedly mistreating the lawyer, the late Sergei Magnitsky.

Mr Magnitsky was Bill Browder's lawyer in Moscow and had uncovered a huge tax fraud perpetrated against Hermitage Capital and, seemingly, the Russian Government. He was killed in prison.

Mr Silchenko has repeatedly denied any involvement in these criminal allegations.

Norway is one of the few countries in the world whose legislation will allow a criminal investigation/prosecution into Human Rights abuses, even if committed outside Norway.

This begs the question of those of us in the UK, why on earth does the British government ignore the Magnitsky Campaign and ignore the fact that millions of pounds from that tax fraud have been laundered through this country (largely through the prime London property market)?

Instead, this country which apparently prides itself on its work on Human Rights abuses allows others to examine this appalling tragic death of a man who left behind a young family.

We should be ashamed.

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Three More Tax Clients This Week for Jeffrey Lewis & Siobhain Egan

Tax-LawWe are advising individuals who find themselves caught up in the latest onslaught on those who innocently invested in tax avoidance schemes such as TV or film partnership schemes.

We are currently advising a wide cross-section of individuals in this predicament, including those suspected of tax fraud.

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EU Fraud Crackdown Looks at Savings Income

tax avoidanceEarlier this week, the EU Council of Ministers adopted a Directive strengthening EU rules on the exchange of information on savings income, aimed at enabling  member states to better clamp down on tax fraud and tax evasion.

The existing European law, Directive 2003/48/EC, requires the member states to exchange information automatically so as to enable interest payments made in one member state to residents of other member states to be taxed in accordance with the laws of the state of tax residence.

The new Directive enlarges the scope of the earlier Directive, reflecting changes to savings products and developments in investor behaviour since it came into force in 2005. The scope now covers new types of savings income and products that generate interest or equivalent income. It includes life insurance contracts, as well as a broader coverage of investment funds. In addition, tax authorities, using a "look-through" approach, will be required to take steps to identify who is benefiting from interest payments.

In December last year the Council called for the amending Directive to be adopted by March 2014, given its significance in combating tax fraud and tax evasion. The member states will have until 1st January 2016 to implement the new measure.

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Criminal Lawyers in London

If you have been charged with tax fraud or tax evasion and require specialist legal advice, please contact our solicitors Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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Tackling Tax Evasion – Recent Moves

Tax evasion has hit the headlines again with the news that one of the world's most famous footballers, Barcelona's Lionel Messi, has appeared in a Spanish court in connection with allegations of tax fraud.

According to the BBC, Messi and his father are accused of defrauding Spanish authorities of around £3.4 million (around €4.2m). Both men strenuously deny the allegations.

It is yet another example of the more stringent approach that Governments around the world are taking in respect of tax avoidance and tax evasion, in the wake of the financial crisis.

Extent of the problem

According to figures produced by BDO earlier this year, tax fraud is a serious issue for the authorities - it cost the UK £603 million in 2012, roughly double the amount in 2009 (£274m) and 2010 (£309m). In fact the accountancy and business advisory firm estimates that tax fraud accounts for around 44% of all fraudulent activity in the UK.

The scale of the problem is backed up by more recently published figures from the EU Commission. These estimate that non-payment of VAT alone cost the EU a massive €193 billion in 2011 – although the total includes non-collection of VAT as well as VAT evasion.

What action is being taken in the UK?

At national level there has been a spate of prosecutions and convictions for tax evasion, spearheaded by HMRC, but the Government has been taking action too, pushing for the issue to be tackled internationally, and putting forward domestic initiatives. 

One of the most recent examples of this is the launch of a new campaign targeting private landlords who fail to pay tax on rental income. According to HMRC, this sector may have failed to pay tax to the tune of up to £500 million in 2009 to 2010 alone.

Separately, the Government is consulting on plans to tighten up rules called compensating adjustments, which it believes are being used by some people to reduce their income tax payments rather than for its proper purpose - to avoid double taxation between individuals and the companies connected to them.

What is happening in Europe?

As we reported earlier in the year, the European Commission has already taken a number of steps to tackle tax evasion. Its most recent action has been in connection with VAT fraud, against which it has suggested a multi-pronged approach:

  • a tougher stance against evasion, and stronger enforcement at national level;
  • making the VAT system easier for businesses across Europe; and
  • reform of national tax systems tot facilitates compliance, deter evasion and avoidance, and improve the efficiency of tax collection.

G20 proposals

Things are moving internationally too. Only this month G20 leaders reached agreement on a series of measures to be taken in order to tackle tax evasion and avoidance around the world.

At their recent meeting in St Petersburg, the G20 leaders called upon the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to draw up a new global standard that would enable the automatic exchange of tax information.

They also approved the OECD's action plan on base erosion and profit shifting. This roadmap identifies 15 specific actions that will give governments the domestic and international instruments to prevent corporations from paying little or no taxes.

Speaking after the meeting, Chancellor George Osborne called the agreement “a huge milestone on the road to making the international tax rules fairer.”

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Criminal Lawyers in London

If you have been questioned or contacted by HMRC in connection with alleged VAT irregularities and require specialist legal advice, contact our expert solicitors Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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