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HMRC internal manual

Specialist Investigations Operational Guidance

Settlement by agreement: preparation for the settlement meeting: file record of anticipated settlement and settlement meeting

It is essential that there is on file a record to show how the basis of the anticipated settlement was derived. Frequently and quite properly the achieved settlement will differ from what was anticipated. Often this will not be a fundamental matter, but variation of the abatement factors to respond to argument advanced at the settlement meeting. Occasionally however the whole basis of settlement is changed during the settlement negotiation.

The file record must make clear the rationale for the achieved settlement and, where it is not self-evident, the reasons for the change from what was originally anticipated.

Notes of settlement meetings must always be made and notes of any informal discussions with advisers must be kept. It must always be absolutely clear from the file papers exactly what was agreed on peripheral as well as substantial issues.