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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi. I need a little bit of advice. Im a bookkeeper who has

Resolved Question:

Hi. I need a little bit of advice. I'm a bookkeeper who has a bit of a "bully" client. I have been dealing with his VAT affairs and I know them to be a bit dodgy. He was arrested in January this year on the basis of a £122k however a portion do not relate to him. There is suspicion of false paperwork. His wife has attended a voluntary interview under caution and both of them have been telling HMRC to ask questions of me. Interestingly, HMRC have issued paperwork relating to assessments of amounts underpaid. I suspect that HMRC will be asking for me before much longer. What should I do because I know his affairs are not so much in order.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

AlexWatts2013 :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. For now please let me know what do you want to do?

Customer:

Thanks for replying. I really want to clear my concious with as little trouble as possible. I know that the fingers point towards me and am aware that going "no comment" in an interview is a solution but I really don't want to be looking down the barrel of a 5 year jail term. My client says he is "connected" and would go cut throat against me. The solution I would ideally like is no criminal proceedings and resorted back to civil law if possible

AlexWatts2013 :

And have you done everything correctly, that is as a book keeper rather than what you were asked to do?

Customer:

To be honest I have done some dodgy paperwork to help my client. The HMRC officer has been a little unreasonable in delaying tactics (18 months) and is trying to bring in some VAT from another registered trader. The time span we are looking is between March 2011 to April 2012 and since then whilst he hasn't been trading he has had input tax to claim so instead of requesting large refunds, I have been declaring some of the deficit down by declaring output tax, even though I gather there is none to declare, and showing a "breakeven" as opposed to loss situation. The deficit now I believe to be in the region of £50k

AlexWatts2013 :

Why did you just not withdraw from the instructions?

Customer:

I really wanted to but the client is a bit of a bully and I didn't want to compromise my safety

AlexWatts2013 :

Did you ever go to the Police?

Customer:

No because that would make matters worse

AlexWatts2013 :

The difficulty you have is this, you knew that you were not complying with the rules and in effect, cooked the books so to speak. As you know this is illegal. If you are interviewed by HMRC you need to tell them of this and why you did it. If you are prosecuted it is possible to bring a defence of duress. There exist two defences of duress: duress by threats and duress of circumstances. Duress of circumstances is the most recent development and is closely linked to duress by threats and the defence of necessity. Duress by threat and duress of circumstances are largely governed by the same criteria thus many of the cases are authority for either type of duress.

AlexWatts2013 :

You can not keep this a civil matter only, it is a matter for HMRC whether they prosecute or not.

Customer:

What has led me to here tonight is that there is a recordred delivery letter waiting for me which I suspect to be my request to attend a voluntary interview under caution

AlexWatts2013 :

If you do, then you should take a Solicitor, because they can make sure the interview is legal and advise you accordingly. I wont lie, you could be in trouble for this, but from what you have said to me - there is a defence but you want to deflect any legal proceedings which is why you need legal representation.

AlexWatts2013 :

If this fully resolves your question then please take a moment before you leave and rate my service, it only takes a second and is an important part of the process. Otherwise if you need more information or help then please click reply. Alex

Customer:

Thanks for your help

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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