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HMRC internal manual

Fraud Civil Investigation Manual

Where CDF offer is made up to 29 June 2014: pre-authorisation review and action: authorisation for use of COP9

A registration report must be submitted to the Authorising Officer. This report should include:

  • a brief taxpayer history (including details of any health issues and any reasonable adjustments required)
  • the nature of alleged offence
  • the extent of evidence of suspected evasion and the estimated arrears and
  • a view on the taxpayer’s ability to pay including comments on liquidity.

It must also highlight what investigation will need to be undertaken in the event that the taxpayer fails to co-operate with COP9 or makes a denial of irregularities.

The report needs to be sufficiently detailed to enable the Authorising Officer to review the recommendations that have been made. This will enable the Authorising Officer to make an informed judgement based on the merits of the case. The Authorising Officer’s decision to agree registration is an important one that should be given serious consideration. A decision to proceed to registration commits HMRC, and often the taxpayer, to considerable expense.

The review needs to consider the likelihood of offences in both direct and indirect taxes. This will help ensure that any guidelines for the type of approach used are followed, and prevent inconsistencies in approach should there be offences in more than one tax regime.

Where the review follows a request by the taxpayer or their agent for a CDF to be offered (see also FCIM102010) you may not have any details of the fraud to be disclosed. You should also bear in mind that the taxpayer might have substantial assets that you are not aware of. In this situation the registration report should include a brief taxpayer history, if possible your views, based on what you know, and an indication of any other action against the taxpayer that may be pending. Where a taxpayer has requested a CDF the intention is to issue COP9 with the offer of a CDF. The main exception being when Criminal Investigations have confirmed that they have an interest in the case.

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

The case is formally adopted under COP9 on the date on which the Authorising Officer approves the case/referring officer’s recommendation.