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HMRC internal manual

Fraud Civil Investigation Manual

Where CDF offer is made up to 29 June 2014: the initial meeting: conducting an investigation by post

Occasionally we receive requests to avoid meetings and to conduct our investigations by post. Where you consider it is necessary to meet with the taxpayer, such approaches are to be resisted and every effort made to persuade the taxpayer to attend a meeting. Meetings are the most effective and efficient way for us to pursue our enquiries. They also allow us to ensure the taxpayer understand fully their rights, their obligations and the Human Rights Act safeguards inherent within them.

Even where the request is genuine and reasonable - for example, the taxpayer is out of the country for the majority of the time or is too ill to attend - we must make sure that the case is handled in such a way that we do not expose ourselves to any unnecessary challenges under the Human Rights Act 1998.

Exceptionally, after signing the offer of a contractual disclosure facility (CDF) and making their Outline Disclosure, a taxpayer might refuse or say they are unable to attend a meeting to discuss their Outline Disclosure. In our view this is not acceptable and you should remind the taxpayer that within the terms of the offer that HMRC has made (under a CDF) is an expectation that they will cooperate with your investigation, and in return HMRC will not seek to prosecute them for any frauds that are disclosed in the Outline Disclosure. However, the taxpayer might insist with their request that the investigation is conducted by post. If this is the case then prior agreement must be sought from (the Authorising Officer) to proceed without holding a meeting.

If they have not done so already you must then arrange for the taxpayer to submit the request in writing, explaining the reason for the request and confirming that they still wish to cooperate with your investigation.

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

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