HC Deb 02 August 1962 vol 664 cc111-2W
Mr. Steele

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer What is the present practice of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue in regard to instituting criminal proceedings for alleged fraudulent claims to Income Tax personal allowances and to expenses deductions, particularly where the taxpayer has made a voluntary disclosure of his offence.

Mr. Barber

Criminal proceedings are normally instituted against a person who had evaded tax by making a fraudulent claim to Income Tax personal allowances or to an expenses deduction. The Commissioners of Inland Revenue have power under the Income Tax Acts however to make a monetary settlement with such a person, and in such a case criminal proceedings are not taken against him.

In all cases including cases of voluntary disclosure the Commissioners reserve to themselves complete discretion as to their course of action; they can give no undertaking that criminal proceedings will not be taken. Nevertheless, if a person who has made a false claim comes forward voluntarily, without having been challenged with his offence, and makes a full and complete confession, these facts have great influence on the decision as to whether or not he should be prosecuted.

Any person who has made a false claim should therefore consider whether it is in his or her interest immediately to make a disclosure of it to the Inland Revenue.