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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Working the Enquiry: Meetings: Construction Industry Scheme Abuse

During enquiries into suspected Construction Industry Scheme abuse, individuals may provide information which can be used in considering the affairs of third parties. Where such information is given at a meeting, notes should be made by the HMRC caseworker on plain paper EM1833.

If the information given is sufficiently important, at the end of the meeting you may summarise the main points, the individual may be asked to read the summary and to sign a simple statement on them if he/she agrees them to be accurate. The statement should say no more than that the individual has read the notes and agrees them to be an accurate record of the main points discussed. The HMRC officials present should also sign the note.

A copy of the notes incorporating the statement should then be given to the individual.

Under no circumstances should local offices attempt to produce forms for this purpose (witness statements) and no reference should be made in the notes or otherwise to either using the information to proceed against any third party or to proceedings being taken against the individual if the information given turns out to be untrue.

Failure to adhere to this instruction may prejudice criminal proceedings throughout the department.

If the information obtained is likely to be of use in the enquiry into a third party, such as a contractor, staff are reminded of the need to observe confidentiality IDG30200. The subcontractor’s written permission must be obtained before the information is disclosed in this way. You should ask the subcontractor to sign a simple mandate.

`I give my permission for information I have given to HMRC to be disclosed to ……… and, if necessary, the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal.’