HMRC power to require information and documents

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

  • HMRC power to require information and documents
  • Introduction
  • Pre-return checks
  • Information notices
  • Statutory records
  • Safeguards
  • Inspection visits to business premises
  • Penalties
  • Appeals

Introduction

A new framework, supported by the powers within FA 2008, Sch 36 exists for compliance checks. It enables HMRC Officers to:

  • visit business premises to inspect the premises, assets and statutory records
  • ask taxpayers and third parties for information and documents where they are reasonably required to check a tax position

It is only reasonable to carry out a check where it is possible for the Officer to correct the tax position. If the risk identified is for a period which is out of time for assessment, the Officer should not pursue the risk.

A ‘tax position’ means a person’s past, present and future liability position with regard to any of the taxes listed at CH21540.

The new powers contained within FA 2008, Sch 36 took effect from 1 April 2009 and initially applied to:

  • income tax
  • capital gains tax
  • corporation tax
  • PAYE
  • national insurance contributions
  • construction industry scheme (CIS)
  • student loans, and
  • VAT

With effect from 1 April 2010, the majority of the remaining taxes administered by HMRC were brought within the remit of FA 2008, Sch 36.

A list of the powers replaced by FA 2008, Sch 36 can be found in CH21050.

Pre-return checks

FA 2008, Sch 36 allows a compliance check to be made before a return has been submitted. A risk must be identified before an Officer carries out a pre-return check, unless the taxpayer has invited the Officer to make the check.

HMRC conducts pre-return checks in high risk cases where fraud is suspected or where the person is working

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