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HMRC internal manual

VAT Fraud

What to consider prior to determining whether to use an intervention: making and issuing a Notice of Direction: making the decision - who does what: the role of the Senior Officer

The relevant Senior Officer should review the recommendation of the case officer and take the decision as to whether or not to issue the NoD. As part of this process, the senior officer should:

  • consider the strength of the evidence, and
  • ensure that all relevant facts have been taken into consideration, that no irrelevant facts have been taken into account and that the making of the direction is a proportionate use of the power.

If satisfied on all of these points, the Senior Officer should draft the direction and it must be sent to the VAT Fraud Team for approval. If the VAT Fraud Team is content the Senior Officer should issue it to the person named in it (see VATF35326).

As with the recommending officer, it is essential that the processes that lead up to the recommendation and issue of the NoD and beyond are carefully and fully detailed. This would include the exercise undertaken above to determine whether there are ‘reasonable grounds to believe’. It would also include any instances where the MTIC National Coordination Team or the VAT Fraud Team have been consulted. This must be saved to the taxable person’s EF.