The mystery of EM2097
HMRC publish their own manual on tax investigation on the web, you can see it here, of course they are not going to tell you the tricky stuff and you will often see the message above, but this section EM2097 is really interesting. A source told me that what EM2097 actually says is, “Enquiry workers shall always be careful when investigating any illegal source and should avoid potentially compromising or dangerous situations”.
In a way this makes perfect sense, it’s simply HMRC keeping their staff out of harm’s way. But if enquiry workers are avoiding “potentially compromising or dangerous situations” then who is left to investigate? Again we come back to the squeeze on Middle England, the soft targets: people like taxi drivers, plumbers, gas fitters, electricians and barbers: the targets with poor or no representation.
More on the HMRC manual here.