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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Publishing details of deliberate tax defaulters: The publication questions: Question 3 - Was this relevant penalty found as a consequence of an investigation: What is an investigation

We can only publish a person’s details if we can answer ‘yes’ to all five publication questions at CH190620.

HMRC may publish information about a person where, as a consequence of an investigation, it is found that a person has incurred relevant penalties. Question 3, see CH190682, asks whether the relevant penalty was found as a consequence of an investigation.

CH190684 looked at the meaning of ‘found’. You can find more information about ‘as a consequence of an investigation’ at CH190692 and about ‘relevant penalties’ at CH190644. This page looks at what an investigation is.

Definition of investigation

FA09/S94 does not define the word investigation. Its ordinary meaning is ‘a systematic or formal inquiry to establish the truth’ or ‘a careful search or examination in order to discover facts’.

An investigation involves gathering information to show

  • whether the person has committed a default,
  • the extent and nature of any default, and
  • what the penalty for any default is.

For PDDD purposes, an investigation includes any compliance check.

A compliance check is any action taken by an officer of HMRC to check a person’s tax position or liability to excise duty in respect of the taxes and duties listed at CH201100. This definition comes from CH205100, where you’ll find more detailed information about compliance checks.

It is important to establish whether there is just a single investigation or more than one. See CH190688.