HC Deb 21 December 1973 vol 866 c464W
Mr. Meacher

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions in the last 20 years prosecutions recommended by the Solicitors' Branch of the Inland Revenue for fraudulent tax evasion have been dropped on the grounds that it would undermine public confidence in certain public institutions because of the persons concerned; how often they have been dropped for other reasons, and what those reasons were; and what action, if any, was actually taken in each of these cases.

Mr. Higgins

None. It is not the function of the Solicitor of Inland Revenue to recommend prosecution but to advise whether on the evidence a prosecution is likely to succeed. If the Board of Inland Revenue forms the judgment that a prosecution should succeed, it is its invariable practice to prosecute, apart from a few exceptional cases where it feels it right to take account of such factors as very serious ill health. In these exceptional cases the board would enforce an appropriate monetary settlement. Information about the number of these cases in the last 20 years is not available.