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HMRC internal manual

Specialist Investigations Operational Guidance

Investigation work: interviews with third parties: how to request a third party interview

Third parties may be contacted initially by letter or telephone but wherever possible the arranged interview should be confirmed by letter.

When telephoning a third party we should give our name, position, telephone number and the name of the office we are working from. We should give the name of the Operational Leader if the third party requests it.

We may be able to deal with the matter over the telephone, dispensing with the need for an interview. The third party may however ask for the matter to be dealt with by correspondence. This will often be unsatisfactory and we should suggest that everyone’s time can be saved if we have a meeting.

Third parties may feel apprehensive when contacted by SI. They may be concerned whether the approach is genuinely from HMRC. They may have concerns about the nature, scope, and subject of SI’s interest. They may be concerned (perhaps with justification) about their own position with HMRC or with other authorities. We will not always be able to reassure a taxpayer’s concerns although we should do so whenever we can.

In a limited number of cases we have to call on third parties without prior invitation. The procedures at SIOG6535 and SIOG6150 must be followed in these cases.