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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Code 9 cases registered prior to 1/9/05 (Hansard): Historical Record: the opening Hansard meeting: inviting the taxpayer's response to the Hansard questions

It is a matter of judgement and something that will differ depending on the circumstances of each case how this important part of the meeting is dealt with.

If it is clear that the taxpayer understands Hansard and that a competent and experienced adviser is assisting him or her to make a full disclosure matters can proceed directly to the taxpayer completing written responses to the questions.

Where this is not the case the taxpayer must be allowed to take whatever time is necessary to allow them fully to understand the position and make a considered response.

Some general points may be made:

  • The taxpayer is not under any compulsion to answer the questions.
  • The questions are straightforward questions which are capable of yes/no answers. How the questions are answered is a matter for the taxpayer to decide.
  • The questions are without limit of time and refer to any income or gains received or arising either individually or in association with others.
  • Specifically the questions refer to the whole of a taxpayer’s affairs - not just to Case I or II sources or corporate profits.
  • Regardless of domicile (and here the Investigator may enquire how the taxpayer regards him/herself) the questions address the taxpayer’s world-wide position.
  • The questions should be answered by the taxpayer to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.
  • SI would not be referring the questions to the taxpayer if it had reason to suspect only trivial irregularities. Whilst no allegations are being made the taxpayer should consider this carefully before formally responding to the questions.

The taxpayer may be ready to respond to the questions with a disclosure in which case he/she should be allowed to do so.