Investigation work: Code of practice 9: obtaining the disclosure report: progress meetings
The main purposes of a progress meeting (of which there are usually several during the time that the report is being prepared) are to ensure that the taxpayer has given proper instructions to the adviser and that the adviser is getting on quickly with the work that needs to be undertaken to keep within the agreed timetable for the report’s submission.
We want to ensure that the adviser has been able to gather together all of the primary material (business and private records, bank statements, property details etc) that are required. At subsequent meetings we expect to see that progress is being made in pulling the information together to form the basis of the Disclosure Report.
Sometimes advisers will ask if they are ‘on the right lines’. There is no objection to the Investigator commenting that the adviser is taking reasonable steps. But we must not reveal directly or by implication the reasons why the case was registered as a CDF Investigation in the first place. This would be contrary to our fundamental policy and it may cause a difficulty if a subsequently inadequate disclosure is made.
Also we must not ‘endorse’ the adviser’s work. The taxpayer may later claim that his/her adviser only put in the Disclosure Report what we confirmed it needed. We should not do anything that prejudices the taxpayer’s opportunity to make a disclosure under the CDF procedure.
Similarly we should not say anything which could be interpreted as a demand that some particular work (beyond the essential matters referred to at TTOG4510) is undertaken. It has to be for the taxpayer to disclose what needs to be disclosed and for the adviser, using his/her professional expertise, to test this and put it into the framework of a report.
We should not, for example, suggest that Capital Statements must feature in every CDF Disclosure Report. Often they will be necessary but the judgement has to come from the adviser’s consideration of the case not from a presumption, or our demand.
(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)