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HMRC internal manual

Specialist Investigations Operational Guidance

Settlement by agreement: offers: non-standard offers

In proportionately far more cases than in Local Compliance, SI needs to make non-standard forms of agreement. This arises from the nature of the cases themselves.

Some of the elements of the standard offer may have to be amended and there may need to be substantial further issues addressed either in the letter of offer itself or in a side letter.

However the use of a side letter should be exceptional and efforts should be made to encompass matters within the letter of offer wherever possible.

If a side letter is proposed this must first be discussed with the Team Leader and, if it is still considered necessary, the matter must be referred to Solicitors Office for advice on drafting the side letter and their approval required before any final version is signed. Any referral to Solicitors Office must be copied to the Technical Manager (Powers and Penalties).

Where the use of a side letter is unavoidable great care should be taken to ensure that it does not contain anything that could be interpreted as restricting in any way HMRC’s future taxing rights. See also SIOG9360 and SIOG9570 concerning future agreements.