HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

CH204020 - How to do a compliance check: notebooks for compliance checks: suitable notebooks

Compliance checks

You may use tablets or laptops for recording notes following the guidance at CH204100.

Paper notebooks used for recording compliance checks and notes of meetings can be either hard backed or soft backed but they must be bound or stapled in the middle so the pages are firmly fixed. Notebooks with perforated pages are not suitable. 

The pages do not need to be pre numbered. If the pages are not already numbered you must number the pages on both sides when you start to use the notebook.

The size of the notebook you use will depend on the particular circumstances of your compliance check. There are different sizes of suitable notebooks available to order through the stationery green route.

Some ‘core HMRC’ products may not be available through the green route and so you will need to complete a business case to order them. The Office Supplies Team is responsible for managing the contracts relating to office stationery items. If you cannot find a suitable notebook you should contact them for advice.

Departmental Notebook ENF 100A or Departmental Daybook ENF 102 must not be used unless you are carrying out a criminal investigation, as detailed below.



Criminal investigations

The ENF 100A or ENF 102 and the policies and procedures attached to their use must be kept for criminal investigations. The reason for this is that by using ENF 100A or ENF 102 in any circumstances where you are not carrying out a criminal investigation you are blurring the line between a criminal and civil investigation. The use of these notebooks could be questioned during a Tribunal resulting in HMRC losing a case where we have proceeded down the civil route but appear to have followed criminal procedures.

It is only when HMRC decides to adopt a case for criminal investigation that any check becomes a criminal investigation. HMRC has policies and procedures in place to demonstrate this - (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) .

When HMRC decides to follow the criminal route and subsequently conducts an interview, the person has certain rights that they do not have under a civil compliance check. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)