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HMRC internal manual

Fraud Civil Investigation Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Where CDF offer is made up to 29 June 2014: the initial meeting: advice on confidentiality

Where there is more than one taxpayer present at any meeting they should be told at the start that HMRC has a duty of confidentiality. The meeting will be wide ranging and could cover both business and private matters. Each taxpayer should be asked to confirm that private financial details can be discussed with all present. The taxpayers should be invited to indicate at any point during the meeting if they would prefer to answer questions without others being present.

These remarks about confidentiality should still be made regardless of any relationship between the taxpayers.

If any taxpayer wants to be dealt with separately from the outset then matters should be arranged accordingly.

Occasionally, you might encounter situations where a taxpayer does not feel free to say that they would like to speak to you separately. Therefore, you should consider advising them that they can contact you after the meeting, by telephone, if there is anything they would like to discuss in private (but always be mindful of the need to make sure that your actions can not be interpreted as seeking to exclude their agent). See the guidance at FCIM105070.