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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Charging penalties: establishing behaviour: evasion: referral criteria

If you suspect that a customer has evaded tax, you must consider whether you need to make an evasion referral.

This section tells you how to decide whether you must make an evasion referral. The following section CH402180 tells you how to make a referral, including what you must and must not include in the form.

THE EVASION REFERRAL PROCESS IS MANDATORY FOR CASEWORKERS IN ALL DIRECTORATES.

Higher value cases

You must always make an evasion referral if the tax at risk is £50,000 or more and you suspect that a customer has evaded tax. This is regardless of whether the case meets the criteria in the rest of this section or if you have consulted a FIS Crime Outreach SPOC.

Mid value non-taskforce cases

If the tax at risk in a non-taskforce case is between £25,000 and £50,000, then you must make an evasion referral if it meets any of the following criteria:

  • You are working a case as part of a response to a compliance Campaign.
  • You are working a case in the Hidden Economy.
  • Your case involves suspected Repayment Fraud.
  • Your case involves a person who is in a position of trust, such as a solicitor or a police officer.
  • A person has made false statements, or has provided false documents.
  • There are links to wider criminality such as drug dealing or money laundering for example.
  • A person has previously been prosecuted for tax related criminal offences or has been charged civil penalties for tax offences.
  • Undisclosed liabilities relating to any asset located offshore.

Mid value taskforce cases

If the tax at risk in a compliance taskforce case is between £25,000 and £50,000, then before making a referral you must first consult with a FIS Crime Outreach SPOC who may advise you to make a referral as soon as possible. A prominent note must be made in the action narrative of the evasion referral form alerting the EMT of FIS Crime’s explicit interest.

If you are advised that the case cannot be taken forward by FIS Crime, they will tell you why and advise you not to make a referral to the EMT. You must continue to work the case in conjunction with your manager, judging the behaviour of the customer on the facts and evidence you gather. You must add a prominent note of the discussion with FIS Crime to the case papers for audit purposes.

Lower Value cases

If the tax at risk is below £25,000 and any of the above criteria are met, then before making a referral you must consult with a FIS Crime Outreach SPOC. Hidden Economy cases featuring less than £10,000  tax at risk need not be highlighted to the FIS Crime Outreach SPOC unless the business area believe additional factors need to be considered (a professional is involved, an emerging new threat, area of high interest etc.).  FIS Crime will advise you to either make an evasion referral as soon as possible with a prominent note in the Actions Narrative section of the evasion referral form alerting the EMT of FIS Crime’s explicit interest, or continue working the case further.

If the FIS Crime Outreach SPOC thinks that the case cannot be taken forward criminally, they will advise you why that is and to not make a referral to the EMT. You must continue to work the case in conjunction with your manager, judging the behaviour of the customer on the facts and evidence you gather. You must add a prominent note of the discussion with FIS Crime to the case papers for audit purposes.

Specific types of cases

Voluntary disclosures

If a person has made a voluntary disclosure about something they know or believe is wrong, and it meets any of the criteria above, you must make your evasion referral immediately.

Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF)/Code Of Practice 9 (COP9)

If a person has asked to enter the CDF/COP9, you must follow the process set out for this, see CH402175.

Tax agents

If you suspect a tax agent of dishonest conduct taking place on or after 1 April 2013, then you must follow the guidance for dishonest agent cases at CH880000. For guidance on who is a tax agent, see CH180180.

Human intelligence (HumInt)

You must not mention in your referral report any third party information from a Human Intelligence source (HumInt). If your case involves HumInt information, you must discuss it with the National Humint Centre. They will advise you on whether and how to make an evasion referral.

FIS Crime Outreach SPOCs

Branch Region Email Outreach contact Geographical area covered
Belfast W W & NI Mike Parkinson, also copy in Steve Tracey and Kieran Coll * Steve Tracey (03000 523089)  
* Kieran Coll (03000 523169) Northern Ireland      
Birmingham W W & NI Birmingham CI Referrals, Mailbox (FIS West) * Rob Curley (03000 569429, mobile 07793625417) West Midlands, West Mercia Warwickshire & Staffordshire, Worcs, Shropshire
Manchester W W & NI Sandra Smith    

 

CI Manchester, Referrals (FIS West) * Jo Pennington (03000 587966)    
* Kate Roberts (03000 587662) Carlisle to Barmouth, N. Wales.  Stoke on Trent/Pennines    
  Bristol / Cardiff W W & NI Colin Spinks

 

Also copy in CI Avonmouth, Outreach (FIS) if the named CI Officer is in South West.England. For Wales;
  • Anthony Davies (03000 581634)

 

For South West England:

  • Steve Ivett (based at Custom House, Avonmouth Bristol, (0870 785 5728, mobile 07786 113112). Wales, Gloucestershire across eastwards to Swindon, Wiltshire.  Wiltshire/Hants border down to South coast, at Southampton    
      Leeds S & E Leeds A: Jo Tyler

 

Evasion Referrals, CI Leeds (FIS)

 

Leeds B: Jen Becker * Steve Snowden (03000 578695) Yorkshire and Humberside    
  Scotland S & E FIS Scotland, Fraud Referrals Direct Tax:
  • Brian McLean (03000 578736)
  • Charlie Sims (03000 537445)

 

 

VAT/Money Laundering:

  • Anthony Robertson (03000 578752)
  • Brian Glen (03000 578673) Scotland      
      Newcastle S & E FIS ISB Outreach, Newcastle Karen Hurst (03000 556937)

 

Geoff Stewart liaises with local Hidden Economy teams

 

Paul Norfolk liaises with colleagues in NICO based at Benton Park View.

 

Mark Usher (03000 556869) North – Up to the Scottish Border

 

South – Down to Teeside.

 

Tyneside, Northumberland  
   

 

Tyne & Wear, Co. Durham and Cleveland          
  Nottingham / East Midlands S & E Triage, Nottm CI (FIS) Mark Robinson (03000 563283, mobile 07900 164487) Nottinghamshire; Derbyshire; Leicestershire; Lincolnshire; and Northamptonshire
  Ipswich S & E CI Ipswich, Triage (FIS) Pete Ashworth (03000 589851) Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, North of the Thames, Herts, Cambs, Beds, Northamptonshire.  North Essex
  London L & S Case for CI London should be sent to CI London & South, VC Referrals (FIS London & South)    

 

Cases for CI Dover should be sent  to Dover, CI Volume Crime (FIS South)

 

Cases for CI Southampton should be sent  to ERT, SotonCI (FIS) London - Mailbox only except                                    Crawley Postcodes - Lew Clark (03000 528641)

 

Dover: Steve MacNally (03000 582769)

 

Mark Ruff (03000 575099), Dawn Wilson (03000 575066), Matt Moignard: (03000 575102) London, Staines, Crawley, Southampton, Dover

 

All of Sussex and Berkshire , Thames Valley Bucks, Parts of Wiltshire, Herts, Cambridgeshire and Essex