Six alleged promoters of fraudulent loan charge arrangements have been arrested following raids on residential and business properties across England.
Five men, including one in his late seventies, and one 45-year-old woman were questioned under caution by HMRC officers, 50 of whom took part in the co-ordinated strike. The officers raided addresses in London, Guildford, Stevenage, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge.
Alongside a male, the female was apprehended on suspicion of promoting a scheme designed to bypass the loan charge, which took effect in April. Her promotion of the scheme allowed “individuals to fraudulently evade paying taxes”, said HMRC, which oversaw the second wave of arrests four days later.
The subjects of a separate criminal investigation, the four men were arrested “on suspicion of using fraudulent methods” to get around both the charge and the taxes due.
The Revenue also said the men were further suspected of “enabling other individuals to do the same”. The spokesman added: “We strongly encourage people not to use loan-busting schemes and methods. They clearly don’t work and people run the risk of losing more money and being involved in fraud.”
According to the tax authority, all six arrests are part of a series of interventions that it is making to bring fraud offences relating to disguised remuneration.
All the arrested individuals have since been released, but HMRC declined to give further details on the basis that its investigations are ongoing.