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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Civil Investigation of Fraud (Code 9): historical record: pre-authorisation review and action: authorisation for use of CIF procedure

A registration report must be submitted to the Authorising Officer. This report should include a brief taxpayer history, the nature of alleged offence, the extent of evidence of suspected evasion and the estimated arrears, and a view on the taxpayer’s ability to pay including comments on liquidity. It must also highlight what investigation will need to be undertaken in the event that the taxpayer fails to co-operate with the CIF procedure or makes a denial of irregularities.

The report needs to be sufficiently detailed to enable the Authorising Officer to review the recommendations that have been made. This will enable the Authorising Officer to make an informed judgement based on the merits of the case. The Authorising Officer’s decision to agree registration is an important one that should be given serious consideration. A decision to proceed to registration commits HMRC, and often the taxpayer, to considerable expense.

This review needs to consider the likelihood of offences in both direct and indirect taxes. This will help ensure that any guidelines for the type of approach used are followed and prevent inconsistencies in approach should there be offences in more than one tax regime.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

The case is formally adopted on the date on which the Authorising Officer approves the case/referring officer’s recommendation. From this point onwards it will not be possible to conduct a criminal investigation into the suspected fraud with a view to prosecution.