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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Civil Investigation of Fraud (Code 9): historical record: the opening meeting: breaks to be taken in a CIF opening meeting

The conduct of CIF opening meetings has to be such that a taxpayer cannot subsequently claim that he or she only made an admission because of being over-tired by the length of the meeting, the absence of refreshment, or the time elapsed since a meal.

Plan the meeting to allow comfort breaks at regular intervals.

The Investigator should at the start of a meeting tell the taxpayer and adviser to call a break whenever they wish.

The Investigator should remind the taxpayer of this during the meeting and should make sure that the taxpayer does get regular refreshment and has the opportunity for meal and comfort breaks. As a general guide you should seek to offer a break every 90-120 minutes to avoid lengthy meetings appearing oppressive.

Everything said about breaks, and whether or not a break was taken, must be fully recorded in the meeting notes.