A7.430 FIS Criminal investigation and prosecution

Administration and compliance

A7.430 FIS Criminal investigation and prosecution

Criminal investigation powers

A7.430 FIS Criminal investigation and prosecution

The vast majority of HMRC's investigative work carried out by the Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) is dealt with using civil powers through either COP8 or COP9 investigations (see A7.420). However, in some cases HMRC consider escalating a COP9 case with a view to criminal prosecution for tax evasion. Consideration is given both to whether the case is likely to lead to a criminal prosecution and to whether it is in the public interest to prosecute. Any statements made or documents produced during the course of COP9 investigation are admissible as evidence should the investigation turn from civil to criminal1.

Criminal prosecution and the jurisdiction of FIS

Where criminal prosecution is considered, HMRC operate in accordance with the terms of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 in England and Wales and their equivalents in Scotland and Northern Ireland2. In addition to HMRC's powers to investigate tax-related criminal offences in Wales, the Welsh Revenue Authority has powers to investigate offences relating to Welsh devolved taxes3.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is independent of HMRC and it may also carry out criminal investigations. The NCA's function is to recover

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