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HMRC internal manual

Fraud Civil Investigation Manual

Where CDF offer is made 30 June 2014 onwards: the initial meeting: Reluctance by customer or agent to attend meeting.

Occasionally you may receive requests to avoid meetings and conduct your investigations by post. Where you consider it is necessary to meet with the customer, such approaches are to be resisted and every effort made to persuade the customer to attend a meeting. Meetings can be the most effective and efficient way for you to pursue your enquiries. They also allow you to make sure the customer fully understands their rights, their obligations and the safeguards inherent in the Human Rights Act. It also offers an opportunity to reinforce behaviour change.

Even where the request is genuine and reasonable - for example, the customer is out of the country for the majority of the time or is too ill to attend - you must make sure that the case is handled in such a way that you do not expose yourself 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 customer might refuse or say they are unable to attend a meeting to discuss their Outline Disclosure. This is not considered acceptable and you should remind the customer that within the terms of the offer that HMRC has made (under a CDF) there 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. The customer 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 customer 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)