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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

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Publishing details of deliberate tax defaulters: The publication questions: Question 3 - Was this relevant penalty found as a consequence of an investigation: Is there a single investigation or more than one

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

It is necessary when considering question 3, see CH190682, to establish whether there is a single investigation or more than one investigation. This is important because we can only consider publishing the details involved in each single investigation and we cannot add the details of several investigations together when deciding whether we can publish.

Single investigation

We may carry out an investigation into

  • one particular type of tax or duty, for example, a VAT assurance visit, or
  • one particular type of tax or duty but find some information that means we must expand our check to include other taxes or duties, for example, a VAT assurance visit finds that sales have been omitted from the records so we expand the check to include the person’s SA return, or
  • a range of taxes or duties, for example, a cross-tax team may undertake a compliance check into a person’s VAT, corporation tax and PAYE affairs.

In each of the above situations there can be a single investigation.

How to decide whether there is a single investigation

You may need to decide whether there is one investigation or more than one so that you can establish whether two or more relevant penalties relate to the same investigation.

There are several factors to consider before deciding whether two or more relevant penalties from different checks are part of the same investigation.

We consider

  • the information we have gathered to see whether it has been used in more than one check
  • whether there is some inter-dependency between checks that would demonstrate that there is one investigation.

It does not matter that a check was started by one team and then handed over to another. It still remains a single investigation and for each penalty and any reduction for quality of disclosure must take account of when HMRC first started the check. For example, if a person does not fully disclose a deliberate inaccuracy when we first open a check, they cannot be given the full quality of disclosure reduction even if they make a full disclosure immediately after the check is taken over by another team, see FCIM209030.

See CH190690 for examples that show whether there is a single investigation or more than one investigation.

FA09/S94 (1)(a)