What is the Single Compliance Process?

By Tolley in association with Guy Smith of inTAX Ltd

The following Corporation Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Guy Smith of inTAX Ltd provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • What is the Single Compliance Process?
  • Background
  • How does HMRC expect the SCP to be different?
  • HMRC’s risk and behaviour assessment
  • Strategy

When the Coalition Government came into power in the summer of 2010, the Treasury immediately started looking for cost efficiencies across the board. HMRC was told to reduce its costs by 25% and deliver an extra £7 billion a year from increased compliance activity; all to be achieved by 2014/15.

It was within this context that the Single Compliance Process (SCP) was developed.


HMRC set about creating a new risk and behaviours driven enquiry process in December 2010, with a culture of transparency and cost awareness at its core. By May 2011, the initial design phase of the newly titled ‘Single Compliance Process’ (SCP) was complete and a trial was subsequently launched in the Local Compliance Small & Medium Enterprises business stream within HMRC. Six tax offices took part at the beginning of the trial. By January 2012 16 tax offices were involved.

The latest agent briefing paper from HMRC can be found on HMRC's website .

The trial period has now concluded and a report was filed with the SCP Project Board on 28 June 2012. The Board has since called for some more data to be provided, before implementation of the SCP becomes more widespread.

It is intended for the SCP to become the new framework under which HMRC conducts small and medium business enquiry work going forward, catering for both direct and indirect taxes. However, it will not be used by the Civil Investigation of Fraud (CIF) or Criminal Investigation teams, nor other specialist divisions with HMRC.

How does HMRC expect the SCP to be different?

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