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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Case review and registration: developing the review: is third party work at the review stage required

There is a responsibility in all areas of work to seek maximum efficiency. At the Review stage the Investigator should consider:

  • what third party work could be done?
  • to what extent this is likely to inform the registration decision?
  • what time, expense or delay is likely to be involved?
  • are there any risks involved in potential third party work? (for example might a suspected fraudulent taxpayer be prematurely alerted of an SI interest and destroy evidence, might there be confidentiality problems, etc.).

Each case will differ and every case will have some potential for the third party work see SIOG6200 for further advice.

Some potential third party sources will be low on time and resource cost and low on risk. Publicly available information usually falls into this category. Where this is so we may well proceed even if the information is likely to be only marginal to the registration decision. On the other hand some third party investigation can be potentially very expensive in money, time and delay. In general terms the perceived need to use third party information powers points towards immediate registration for full investigation.

Third party work is considered at SIOG6200. Careful thought must be given before expensive or sensitive third party work is undertaken, but good third party work at the Review stage can confirm the identification of cases and transform their importance. Third party information notices may be issued at the review stage, but the Team Leader’s advice should be obtained in addition to the necessary formal authorisation.