White collar crime

Do people go to prison for white collar crimes?

White collar crime is the term used to describe financially-motivated offences that are committed in the line of a professional’s duties at work. It’s important to realise that these kind of crimes are taken very seriously by the authorities as financial crime is the cause of billions of pounds of lost revenue to the UK economy each year. Certainly it is a mistake to assume that an offence will somehow be deemed less serious if it is being investigated by a government.

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Am I committing VAT fraud?

Not only is VAT fraud taken seriously by HMRC, it can cause untold damage to a company’s reputation, not least due to the fact that taxpayers resent it when they find out someone else hasn’t been paying their way towards the running of essential services in the UK like the NHS, schools and hospitals. For this reason, HMRC choose to publicly name and shame offenders by publishing a list of deliberate tax defaulters, which includes those who avoid VAT. Penalties for VAT.

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Guide: Consequences of tax fraud

Last October, the chancellor Philip Hammond announced new measures to clamp down on tax evasion, with a target of raising £2.1 billion by 2023. Narrowing what’s known as the ‘tax gap’ has already resulted in success, with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), announcing a gap of 5.7% between 2016-2017 last summer. To put this into context, if the gap had remained at 2005/6 levels, this would have resulted in a loss of £71 billion that could have been spent on public.

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Guide to white collar offences

The phrase ‘white collar offence’ was first coined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland, who defined it as ‘a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation’.  This description is clearly dated, but nearly 80 years on, we still understand white collar crime to be fraud that is financially motivated, non-violent and usually carried out in connection with the offender’s place of work. As one of the top criminal law firms in Birmingham, the solicitors.

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