The interview under Hansard followed a standard pattern and commenced with the investigator introducing himself and his colleague. He outlined the function of Special Civil Investigations (SCI) in relation to investigating suspected incorrect accounts and said that HMRC has information which indicated that the taxpayer’s accounts and returns may be incorrect and that, while there may be some entirely innocent explanation for this, it was his duty to investigate the matter and satisfy himself one way or the other.
This was not a bluff. At this stage HMRC would feel confident that there was a case to answer. The investigator would have conducted a detailed investigation beforehand and would be armed with information from the local tax office, spin-off evidence from other SCI investigations and details from informers or other third parties, e.g. suppliers, which he would consider to be damaging.