“Dealing with dawn raids” by Jack Prytherch, senior associate in Bird & Bird’s tax disputes and investigations team

Jack Prytherch explains what you should do if your business is raided by HMRC, and how you should react to it afterwards.

As part of their criminal investigatory powers (generally set out under PACE 1984), HMRC can carry out searches of home and business premises under a search warrant. These searches are often referred to as ‘dawn raids’ because they generally take place in the early hours of the morning.

As well as being disruptive and intimidating for those present, a dawn raid will often raise complex legal issues and can signal the start of a protracted investigation that could ultimately result in criminal prosecution. In the event of a search, therefore, it is critical that the affected persons and their advisors seek appropriate legal advice as soon as possible.

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