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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Miscellaneous: Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA): general

What is the Serious Organised Crime Agency

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) was established in 2006 by the serious Crime and Police Act 2005. It is an independent Government Agency and is not part of HMRC.

Purpose and role of SOCA

SOCA has wide ranging powers to detect and combat serious crime: these include statutory obligations to share information, criminal confiscation, civil recovery and taxation functions to deprive criminals of the proceeds of their crime. The Police, HMRC and other law enforcement agencies refer cases to SOCA at the latter’s request.

Interaction with HMRC

SOCA and HMRC will jointly consider who the appropriate authority is to deal with the taxation of individuals.

Where SOCA has reasonable grounds to suspect that there is income, gains or profits that result from criminal conduct and that are chargeable to tax they may take on this role by serving a notice on HMRC. Under the notice SOCA assume responsibility for some or all of the taxation functions relating to an individual and any connected entities for specific periods. SOCA will send such notices to the Centre for Exchange of Intelligence (CEI).

HMRC cannot refer cases directly to SOCA.

Scotland

Arrangements in Scotland differ. A Civil Recovery Unit, accountable to the Lord Advocate, performs the equivalent of criminal confiscation and civil recovery. SOCA maintains its remit in Scotland to operate the taxation function of criminals by serving notice on HMRC.