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HMRC internal manual

Specialist Investigations Operational Guidance

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HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Investigation work: interviews with third parties: where third party becomes implicated during the course of meeting

SIOG6530 indicates some situations where we can see that a third party is or may become a first party. Where this is the case we must prepare for this outcome before the meeting. In other cases admissions by the third party may not be anticipated.

We should make it clear to the taxpayer once admissions are made that his or her affairs may require investigation. Our action will depend on the nature of the case and of the admissions now made.

In some cases, generally those where the admissions are at a low level of relative seriousness, it will be appropriate to simply advise that the taxpayer’s own affairs may require investigation. The taxpayer will be notified later, by SI or otherwise, but the present meeting will continue, with the taxpayer’s agreement, as a third party meeting.

In some situations the appropriate action is to convert the meeting to a first party Code 8 or Code 9 meeting. If this happens the procedures appropriate to the Code adopted should be applied. The taxpayer should be told that the meeting can be discontinued to allow for professional advice to be taken if the taxpayer wishes. This advice must be emphasised if the taxpayer is unrepresented and the interview only continued if the Investigator is satisfied that it is with the taxpayer’s full agreement. This agreement should be recorded in the notes of the meeting.

Some admissions may be so serious that we may feel that the interview cannot continue. We have a difficult decision to make in these circumstances and great care is needed. The advice of the Operational Leader should be sought wherever possible(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)