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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Case review and registration: registering the right cases: objectives and importance of review work

Cases potentially suitable for SI Technical Teams may be identified either through self-generation or submitted by other HMRC offices, for instance, through the Evasion Referral Team (ERT) (more information about Evasion Referrals can be found through the A-Z on the HMRC intranet site). On receiving a referral the next step is to review the case in order to decide if it is appropriate for registration, and under what Code of Practice it should be worked. The primary objective of review work is to ensure that the right cases are selected and opened under the correct Code of Practice as soon as possible. The opposite of this is equally as important, and unsuitable cases need to be rejected quickly.

While the review process is running, the risk recorded on caseflow should be designated as a ‘Review’ case. The distinction between a risk under review and one working as a full investigation case should always be preserved.

No challenge should be made of the taxpayer, by SI, while the risk is designated a Review on caseflow. This is a mandatory instruction.

The work carried out during the review stage is important. There is no merit in a large quantity of review papers unless they help the decision making process for consideration of registration, or the future conduct of the case. The only ways in which a Review risk can conclude is by it being re-registered as an investigation risk or it being closed as a review risk on caseflow.

Review work is not free of subjective judgement. Some risks are clear registrations (or rejections) and in other cases the registration choice is finely balanced.

The risk assessment process and other information detailed in this guidance should assist the investigator in reaching a considered decision, but what they do not do is take away an individual’s judgement on whether the Review risk should be recommended for registration as an investigation risk or not.