HMRC is to merge two of its key investigation teams: specialist investigations (SI) and criminal investigations (CI). HMRC has indicated that this will enable it to “better share expertise and knowledge” and be “more effective in tackling the most serious tax crime”.

SI deals with direct and indirect taxes in respect of certain tax avoidance matters as well as cases of suspected fraud where the civil procedure rules are used. CI deals with cases prosecuted under the criminal procedure.

HMRC insists that the move is not designed to save money, but it remains to be seen if redundancies will follow.

This move does suggest a more focused approach from HMRC in relation to tax fraud.