Four levels of the Single Compliance Process (SCP)

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

  • Four levels of the Single Compliance Process (SCP)
  • The SCP opening enquiry check letter
  • The SCP conversion check letter
  • Addressing and concluding the SCP check

The SCP framework is designed to handle small and medium enquiry work for both direct and indirect taxes. The process is risk and behaviour driven, with HMRC officers devoting more time and effort, or ‘intensity’, to highest risk cases. For more on the risk and behaviour assessment, see the What is the Single Compliance Process? guidance note.

Once the risk and behaviour assessment has been completed and HMRC has decided upon the level of intensity required, the compliance check is then allocated to one of four levels:

  • level one is the lowest category of risk, where the check may be settled over the telephone and / or by correspondence only, similar to an old style aspect enquiry. The officer will expect to spend around one and a half days in total on such a check.
  • level two is a step up where a face-to-face meeting may be required. The officer will expect to spend around two days in total on such a check.
  • level three checks will typically involve a wider ranging review and be more detailed, with a greater level of intensity anticipated. The officer will expect to spend up to four days in total on such a check.
  • level four cases are the most complex and, based on the risk and behaviour assessment, indicate potential tax evasion characteristics. The officer will be expected to allow eight days to work such a case.

The SCP allows for checks to move up and down the four levels once the HMRC officer has begun to receive information and started to address the risk assessment.

See Example 1.

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