Features considered by HMRC as indicating serious fraud (especially where there is a combination of such features) and which must be submitted to Special Civil Investigations (SCI) as soon as the feature (s) is recognised are:-
However, the presence of one or more of these indications does not meant hat serious fraud must have occurred, nor does it mean that the case will inevitably be worked by SCI; each case is considered on its merits. Furthermore, the involvement of SCI in a case does not always mean that serious fraud is suspected, since SCI also carry out other types of investigation. It is therefore important that the adviser establishes which SCI group is acting in the case.
SCI also has responsibility for receiving and passing on information exchanged with other Revenue authorities throughout the world. Information exchanged in this way has led to the recovery of millions of pounds which would otherwise have escaped taxation; a source of information that continues to grow in importance. However, it should be noted that SCI is not concerned with investigating tax avoidance across national borders by multi-national companies; this is the province of International Division.
SCI will also investigate non-accounts cases where false returns or statements have been made and substantial amounts of tax are involved.