Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Tax Fraud on 18th October 1990.
Mr. Jack To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the present practice of the board of Inland Revenue with regard to instituting criminal proceedings in case of suspected tax fraud.
Mr. Major The practice of the board of Inland Revenue in cases of fraud in relation to tax is as follows:
1. The board may accept a money settlement instead of instituting criminal proceedings in respect of fraud alleged to have been committed by a taxpayer.
2. It can give no undertaking that it will accept a money settlement and refrain from instituting criminal proceedings, even if the taxpayer has made a full confession and has given full facilities for investigation of the facts. It reserves to itself full discretion in all cases as to the course it pursues.
3. Nevertheless, in considering whether to accept a money settlement or to institute criminal proceedings, its decision is influenced by the fact that the taxpayer has made a full confession and has given full facilities for investigation into his affairs and for examination of such books, papers, documents or information as the board may consider necessary.
The purpose of this statement is to clarify the former statement – given by the then Chancellor Sir John Anderson – and to bring its language up to date. It is not intended to make any substantive changes.