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HMRC internal manual

Specialist Investigations Operational Guidance

Specialist areas: Finance Professionals Unit: advisory role

Accountancy advice and support is available from accountants in the Finance Professionals Unit (FPU) at all stages of an investigation from Review (see TTOG3355) to settlement. The involvement of the FPU accountant may range from an informal discussion about a particular issue to a more formal referral.

It may not be apparent at the review stage, or in the early stages following registration of a case, that there are significant accountancy risks, but as soon as it is suspected that such risks may exist, it is important that an FPU accountant be involved at once. A request for assistance at a late stage of an investigation, when the issues could have been identified much earlier, may considerably reduce the value of the accountant’s contribution.

When work by an accountant, at any stage of an investigation, is likely to be significant the investigator will, in conjunction with the accountant, prepare a Customer Agreement setting out concerns and objectives and a timetable for achieving these. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) The Customer Agreement can be amended throughout the life of the case if and when further unforeseen accountancy risks emerge.