Tax Credit Sentencing

Hylton-Potts - London Based Law Firm Helping People Across the UK since 1999

Tax Credit Fixed Fee
Tax Credit case: £245 including VAT

Tax Credit and Pension Credit Sentencing

Because of the credit crunch and recession, the Government has tripled its resources and Tax/Pension Credit Fraud enquiries.

It is not when ‘if’ they catch you but ‘when’.

People break the law for all sorts of reasons. For some, the pressures of family life can push them into situations from which they find it hard to escape from. At Hylton-Potts we understand this and how, sometimes, people can get themselves into unfortunate situations. The work we do is more than just a job for us and we work tirelessly to always get the best outcome for our client. We are here to help you not judge you.

Consult the experts. For more information or a free legal opinion telephone 020-7381-8111 or email

Sentencing Guidelines

Prosecutions take place for fraud for as little as £2,000 and on conviction of over £5,000 an immediate custodial sentence is a real possibility.

Relevant Sentencing Guidelines

  • £500,000 or more: 5 years custody, Range: 4-7 years
  • £100,000 or more, and less than £500,000: 4 years custody, Range: 3-5 years
  • £20,000 or more, and less than £100,000: 2 years custody, Range: 18 months-3 years custody
  • £5,000 or more, and less than £20,000 (SP based on £12,500): SP: 12 weeks custody, Range: Community Order (high) – 12 months custody
  • Less than £5,000: Community Order (High), Range: Community Order (Low) – 6 weeks custody

It is not when if they catch you but when.

Our job is to change all this, and help you.

We mitigate penalties for our clients by off-setting the amount of benefits they have legitimately received against the amount of overpayment claimed. We work out the correct levels of claims and investigate our client’s circumstances. This can reduce the amount of overpayment up to 80%

Mitigation can reduce any sentence and guilty plea will always do this. In cases of benefit fraud, extra factors that are taken into account are the amount of time over which the fraud occurred and the total amount. Character evidence and voluntary repayments will also be taken into account.

Seriousness and Aggravating Factors:

  • The planning of an offence
  • High level of profit from the offending.
  • Offenders operating in groups and gangs
  • ‘Professional offending’
  • An attempt to conceal or dispose of evidence
  • Offending carried out over a significant period of time
  • Use of another person’s identity
  • Abuse of position of trust
  • Mitigating Factors
  • Peripheral involvement
  • Misleading or incomplete advice
  • Mental illness or disability of the defendant
  • Youth or age, where it affects the responsibility of the individual defendant
  • Behaviour not fraudulent from the outset
  • Legitimate entitlement to part or all of the amount claimed
  • Voluntary cessation of offending
  • Complete and unprompted disclosure of the extent of the fraud
  • Voluntary restitution
  • Financial Pressure

Hylton-Potts – We can help – We are on your side

At Hylton-Potts we minimise the risk of prosecution and prison sentence by making representations as to the circumstances of the offence and how the fraud began, what the money was spent on and particular special matters relevant such as family breakdown, illness or disability. If a client has committed tax credit fraud in order to feed their young family, then we can ensure this is taken into account in sentencing and given full consideration.

Pressure from others such as bullying by partners, forced marriages, not understanding the regulations, poor English, medical problems and full cooperation, are all factors we can help you with, to get the best possible result.

We can help you even if the prosecution process has started.

We have great success in getting the HMRC, to look at cases again, and exchange a civil penalty, for a criminal prosecution, even if one has begun and a summons has been served.

Consult the experts. For more information or a free legal opinion telephone 020-7381-8111 or email

‘We cannot stand for it’: Mr Cameron described the massive amount of money lost to fraud as ‘absolutely outrageous’ He pledged: ‘We need to do more to stop fraud. This is simply not acceptable. We will take the necessary measures to stop fraud happening in the first place, root out and take tough action against those found committing fraud and make sure the stolen money is paid back.

So it is not if they get you but when. If you are worried consult the experts – For more information or free legal advice telephone 020-7381-8111 or email