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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Civil Investigation of Fraud (Code 9): historical record: managing the disclosure process: reluctance to instruct an adviser to prepare the disclosure report

Sometimes the taxpayer, after making an initial disclosure, hesitates to instruct an adviser to prepare a disclosure report. He or she may argue that the HMRC can very quickly see for themselves the amounts that are involved and reach agreement. He or she may claim that they do not have the means to meet the professional fees of a disclosure report.

The taxpayer should be referred again to the CIF Statement which refers to a full disclosure of all irregularities.

If the taxpayer still declines to instruct an adviser to investigate but offers full facilities for investigation he or she should be invited to quantify the disclosure. He/she should be given a pro-forma statement of assets and of bank etc. accounts operated and told to complete these to the best of their knowledge and belief. He/she should be invited to bring these in within a brief agreed period with a narrative statement signed and adopted by him/her setting out the period, nature and amount of the fraud. The investigator should then consider taking up the access and co-operation offered.

If the disclosure report is not being progressed a letter should be sent to the taxpayer drawing their attention to the implications. The level of contact with the taxpayer/taxpayer’s representative will depend on the individual circumstances. The emphasis is on robust case management.