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HMRC internal manual

Technical Teams Operational Guidance

Investigation work: opening under Code 8: issue of Code of Practice

The main purpose of an initial meeting in a FIS Code 8 case is to establish the facts of the particular taxation issue(s) that justified registration as an Investigation.

The initial notification of FIS interest in a case is likely to be by means of correspondence. An earlier contact may have been made by telephone but a letter should always confirm this.

The Investigator should make it clear that the investigation is to be undertaken by FIS and that Code of Practice 8 will be followed. A copy of the Code of Practice should be issued to the taxpayer and the agent at the earliest opportunity and certainly before the meeting takes place.

The Investigator should discuss with the adviser which taxpayers are to be invited to the meeting, the suggested time, date and venue and say who will be present to represent FIS.

Where any open SA enquiries will be included in the FIS Code 8 Investigation the wording of the letter should make it clear that is the case. Where there is a current self assessment return with no existing enquiry, the notice to attend the opening meeting will normally incorporate the written notice of enquiry required by Section 9A(1) TMA 1970 to initiate an enquiry into that return. TTOG3000 and the Enquiry Manual deal with Self Assessment.

The format of the initial letter will vary depending upon the nature of the case and its previous history. Where the case was previously a Local Compliance Office investigation, the FIS Investigator will contact the adviser acting for the taxpayer. They will be informed that the investigation is now being conducted under the terms of Code of Practice 8, and asked to ensure that their client is aware of the change in emphasis and that the Local Office Code of Practice and tax leaflets are no longer applicable.

In other circumstances the Investigator will write to the adviser indicating that a specific aspect/s are being reviewed by the Fraud Investigation Service, and that the investigation is to be conducted under the terms of Code of Practice 8, a copy of which should be enclosed.

You must take care to ensure that the adviser is only given information within the scope of any 64-8 that is held.

The letter should also then outline the request for the opening meeting.

In certain circumstances it will be appropriate to issue Factsheet CC/FS13 Publishing Details of Deliberate defaulters (PDDD) at the start of an investigation. See CH202375 concerning the timing for issuing the leaflet.