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HMRC internal manual

Fraud Civil Investigation Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Where CDF offer is made up to 29 June 2014: general: investigation of fraud and criminal investigation

Tax fraud cases adopted for investigation are worked in two ways. Some are worked by the Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) with a view to criminal prosecution and others are worked under the COP9 procedure outlined in this guidance.

It is important to ensure that all facts and evidence, which might have a bearing on the decision to handle a case under the criminal or civil code, are reviewed with an open mind and that there is a clear audit trail on file leading to the decision made.

There is no definition of fraud in the Taxes Acts, though in simple language, tax fraud may be considered in terms of someone seeking to obtain a material tax advantage by dishonesty.

The size and nature of the suspected fraud are important considerations in the decision to adopt a case for COP9. There should also be a judgement on the weight of evidence which already exists, or which could be obtained, to support the initial suspicion of fraud.

When considering the suitability of a case for COP9 it is important at the outset to consider whether or not any of the issues fall to be considered within the HMRC criminal investigation policy. Where appropriate a referral should be made for criminal investigation.

If a case does not fall within the HMRC criminal investigation policy or it is one where a submission has already been made but not adopted for criminal investigation, then it must be considered against the criteria for COP9.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)