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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: Irish Criminal Assets Bureau

Why share information with the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau?

The Irish Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is a state body in the Republic of Ireland headed by a senior officer from An Garda Siochana (the Irish Police Force) and staffed by officers drawn from the Police, Customs, Revenue and Social Welfare Bodies. It’s objectives are identifying assets arising from criminal activity, depriving criminals of the benefit of those assets and undertaking connected investigation work. The functions of the CAB include taking action to recover the proceeds of crime (enforcement) as well as identification and investigation.

HMRC may wish to disclose information it has gathered for the purposes of its functions to the CAB in connection with either criminal or civil matters, where it will assist the CAB with carrying out its regulatory functions and associated investigations. The CAB can target suspected criminal assets globally, so any HMRC investigations where assets have been identified that have a link to Ireland are potentially subject to CAB action.

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All areas of HMRC may hold information that will assist the CAB, but usually only the Fiscal Crime Liaison Officer (FCLO) network, via the liaison officer covering Dublin will disclose such information although there are exceptions as outlined below.

Legislation which allows disclosure

There are a number of pieces of legislation that allow for disclosure of HMRC information to the CAB. The principal ones are:

  • Section 19 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime & Security Act 2001 (ATCSA). This enables disclosure of information in criminal cases. Authority for use of this section rests with authorised officers and, in the case of the CAB, with the FCLO.
  • The Naples II treaty allows disclosure in intra-EU cases concerning the administration and investigation of Excise duty matters, where the CAB has elected to exercise the appropriate functions of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland. The competent authority for Naples II matters within HMRC is the International Mutual Assistance Team (IMAT) who in turn can delegate authority to specified officers.  In the case of the CAB this authority is delegated to the FCLO for Dublin, as well as being utilised by IMAT itself.
  • The Double Taxation Treaty between the UK and Ireland covers direct tax information, and where CAB has elected to exercise the appropriate functions of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners this gateway may be utilised. Use of the treaty is supervised by the Competent Authority within RIS and is delegated to other officers including the FCLO for Dublin. The CAB itself may elect to use this route directly to the HMRC Competent Authority rather than via the FCLO.
  • Section 85 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 enables disclosure of information relating to the CAB’s functions in relation to the proceeds of crime, its identification, investigation and enforcement. It allows for disclosure in both civil and criminal cases. Disclosure may only be made to appointed bureau officers within the CAB. Disclosures via this gateway may only be made via the FCLO network.


It is often the case that a request or identified need to disclose information will be covered by more than one gateway. The preferred option for disclosure to the CAB is s85 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 unless there are specific reasons for using another.  The decision will usually rest with the FCLO.

Procedure to follow

Any officer who receives a request for disclosure of information to the CAB should direct the enquirer to the agreed procedure which is via the FCLO. If in doubt consult the FCLO network for advice.

Any officer who in the course of his/her duties identifies information they consider may be of value to the CAB should refer this to the FCLO network, completing an intelligence report if appropriate.  Officers should not make disclosures directly to the CAB themselves.

Where it is appropriate for more general HMRC information to be gathered for disclosure to CAB this task will be serviced by IMAT in consultation with the FCLO, except in cases where the Double Taxation Treaty is utilised. This applies irrespective of whether the CAB inquiry is civil or criminal in nature.

Requests for witness statements and affidavits for use in CAB legal proceedings will be made by the CAB via the FCLO. Any HMRC officer who receives a request themselves should direct the enquirer to the agreed procedure which is via the FCLO network. If it is considered appropriate for a statement or affidavit to be provided the FCLO and IMAT will decide on the appropriate course to take. Requests relating to more general information held by HMRC (such as, but not limited to, tax return and payment information) will usually be serviced by IMAT. However requests for more specific material, perhaps relating to an HMRC civil or criminal investigation or which derive from assurance activity may have to be given by the responsible officer. Such cases will be subject to consideration by the FCLO and the officer in question consulting with their manager and IMAT as appropriate. Individual officers must not give statements or affidavits directly to the CAB.

Whereas requests for statements/affidavits for more general or routinely gathered information will usually be handled by IMAT it may in some circumstances be more practical for an officer giving specific evidence to cover this area too. Each case will be considered on its own merits.

All disclosures made through the FCLO based in Dublin are covered by guidance IDG80100.

Devolved administrations

This guidance applies to the whole of the United Kingdom.

Further guidance

If you receive a request for information and are unsure how to proceed please contact your Data Guardian.