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HMRC internal manual

Fraud Civil Investigation Manual

Where CDF offer is made 30 June 2014 onwards: action following issue of Code of Practice 9: rejection and no cooperation

Where following a rejection of the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF)

  • you start your own investigation under COP9 following rejection by Criminal Investigation (CI), and
  • the customer refuses to engage with your investigation when invited to do so, or
  • the customer claims to be cooperating but they decline to meet you to answer any factual questions or to provide you with any information that you require to investigate matters thoroughly, then

you should request immediate access to business and private records.

If this is declined the customer should be told that you will use statutory powers to obtain them. Your investigation must proceed and you must pursue the details and information that you need to investigate matters.

In some cases, when faced with formal requests for information, the customer might subsequently be prepared to cooperate and agree to meet with you to discuss matters. See FCIM204065 for alternative outcomes of a meeting.

How you proceed from that point will depend on the circumstance of the case. However, advisers will sometimes say that even though their client has neither a fraud nor anything else to disclose they would still like to take the opportunity to check that nothing needs to be disclosed. Remember it is for HMRC to prove that a tax fraud has been committed. See FCIM204065 for action to take if the customer offers to produce a report to allay your concerns.

If you have a meeting and the customer is adamant that there is nothing to disclose you will need to adapt your approach depending on the particular circumstances of the case.

The general nature of your questions will follow the same pattern as outlined for disclosure cases. Even if after prompting or challenging, the customer maintains that there is no disclosure to make, it may still be possible to continue with the meeting. In these circumstances questions addressed to the customer about their business and private affairs become particularly important.

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