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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Code 9 cases registered prior to 1/9/05 (Hansard): Historical Record: setting up the opening Hansard meeting: breaks to be taken in a Hansard opening meeting

The meeting must be stopped if the taxpayer wishes to consult with advisors. Prior to the tape being switched off the Investigator should state the time and reason for the break in the tape.

If one member of SI and one taxpayer or advisor remain present in the room during the adjournment then the Investigator need only stop the tape and restart with an explanation, and confirmation of the time, on tape. If the taxpayer and all his advisors leave the room, the master tape must be sealed and the taxpayer and one of the advisors asked to sign the seal before they go.

On resumption of the meeting a fresh tape must be used and the Investigator must state the time the tape commences and the persons present. The Investigator should also ask the taxpayer to confirm that nothing untoward has occurred in the break and re-caution and remind them of their rights. The Investigator should ensure they have a number of tapes with them in case there are frequent breaks.

Everything said about breaks, and whether or not a break is taken, must be fully recorded on the tape. The time that the break commenced should also be recorded.

No one should be allowed to leave the interview room until the tape in use immediately prior to the break has been stopped, sealed up and signed by the attendees.

If there is an interruption (these should be avoided if at all possible), the person who enters the room should be asked to identify themselves and give a reason for the interruption.

The Investigator should provide breaks of at least 15 minutes every 2 hours and at least 45-minute meal breaks in accordance with PACE Code of Practice C. The taxpayer is entitled to waive their right to these breaks and again these decisions should be recorded.