It can be unsettling for any business owner, director or SME to deal with claims from HMRC. Our team of experts led by lawyer and accountant Stephen Downie, can help whatever the enquiry. It also boasts Andy Lynch, with 18 years experience working at HMRC's special investigations team to draw on. Don't settle for second best. Call us today.

Tax solicitors

Our expert tax disputes team boasts partner Stephen Downie and consultant Andy Lynch. Both are leaders in their field.

Stephen is a partner heading up the tax dispute team. He is also a qualified accountant and spent time working at the Insolvency Service.

Andy spent 18 years at HMRC working in the tax investigations team, before working for two leading firms of accountants.

“FWJ did precisely what it set out to do. I am extremely grateful for its assistance.”

A client who had received a Request for Security from HMRC for a sum that would have caused their company severe financial difficulties. We helped them to have the entire bill withdrawn

Disguised remuneration schemes or an Accelerated Payment Notice

HRMC are cracking down on Disguised remuneration schemes such as Employee Benefit Trust (EBT’s) or Employee Financed Retirement Benefit Schemes (EFRB’s). Whether you have received monies from an EBT, would like to understand your position before HMRC make contact or have received an Accelerated Payment Notice or a Regulation 80 Determination, our team of experts can help.

R&D Tax Credit Fraud claims

HMRC are bringing a significant number of claims for repayment of incorrect or unlawful R&D claims by businesses, many of whom utilised the services of so called ‘R&D claims company’s’ acting on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. If you are a director who has received a letter or a more formal COP8 Investigation, our team can help.

PAYE or VAT security notices

A PAYE or VAT security notice can be very serious for a business. They can be issued if a director has had a previous business failure where which HMRC were left unpaid. If so, HMRC may request that security be given to reduce exposure to further bad debt.  Not only can this affect cashflow, failure to pay is a criminal offence and can lead to a fine. Our expert team can help you through this situation.

Tax disclosures and investigations

Tax disclosures and investigations have increased dramatically over the past twenty years as HMRC significant steps have been taken to combat tax fraud and tax evasion. Our team can help defend any tax investigations and guide you through the HMRC voluntary disclosure facility to help lessen any tax you might be liable to pay.

Statutory demand and winding up petition defence

If you have been served with an HMRC statutory demand or winding up petition – the key is to act fast to avoid the worst effects. Our team have successfully defended or settled many such claims – and are happy to provide you with the urgent advice you need.

Code of Practice 8 investigations

COP8 Investigations are a specific approach used by HMRC to investigate cases of suspected tax avoidance. If you are subject to a Code of Practice 8 claim – we can provide the immediate advice you need and help set out clearly the intentions behind the arrangements in place to reduce the tax liability.

Code of Practice 9 investigations

COP 9 Investigations are very serious and usually involve allegations of tax fraud. Our expert defence team can help to quickly evaluate the claim against you and advise on how best to settle any tax liabilities, for example through the HMRC Contractual Disclosure Facility.

HMRC loan charge

The loan charge was introduced in 2017 to combat loans which were in effect a form of disguised remuneration scheme. The loan charge creates a PAYE liability for a business that has participated in a disguised remuneration scheme. Our team can help defend these claims and make sure that any cashflow implications don’t cause the business to fail.

Time to pay arrangement

Where a business is unable to pay its tax liability it can seek to agree a time to pay arrangement with HMRC. This can be vital for a struggling business and allow a minimum of 3-6 months to repay tax, sometimes even longer. Our team can guide you through this process and how best to ensure that any application is a success.

Personal liability notices

Personal liability notices can be issued by HMRC if an individual is linked to a company that owes HMRC money for unpaid National Insurance Contributions. HMRC can issue a personal liability notice transferring the company’s liability for the unpaid contributions, to the individual. Ur team can help defend these personal claims.

Dealing with tax affairs

Any business might find itself having to deal with unexpected tax enquiries. Once tax falls into arrears, your business will face ever increasing competition as you will continue to face the requirement to provide for ongoing tax demands in addition to making arrangements to repay tax arrears. If you find yourself in this situation – our team of tax experts can provide the advice you need.

Account Freezing Orders

HMRC are increasingly using bank account freezing orders to prevent what they consider to be the risk of fraud or tax evasion. Our expert team can help resolve this issue with HMRC and unfreeze your bank account as quickly as possible.

Should you require any assistance, please contact our expert tax dispute and director services team who would be happy to discuss your matter with you. Don’t delay. Speak to an expert today. Or speak to Andy Lynch now and he will help.

Andy Lynch at FWJ was literally a life saver for me. I ran in to some tax issues with HMRC and I suffer from mental health issues as well so I was a complex case. Andy took his time to professionally and accurately layout my case and assist me with finding a resolution. I researched a lot of tax advisers before making my decision and I am glad I did and relieved that I chose Andy and FWJ.

Chris Kitchen

Key contacts

Pembe Ramadan

Pembe Ramadan


Andy Lynch

Andy Lynch


Stephen Downie

Stephen Downie


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