HMRC compliance check visits

By Tolley in association with Lesley Fidler

The following Owner-Managed Businesses guidance note by Tolley in association with Lesley Fidler provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • HMRC compliance check visits
  • Initial contact from HMRC
  • Pre-visit disclosure
  • Before the visit
  • The initial meeting with HMRC
  • Following the meeting ― the employer
  • Following the meeting ― HMRC
  • Conflict with an earlier compliance check
  • The communication phase
  • A selection of typical irregularities

Pending updates: the debt recovery period for NIC is to be aligned with that for income tax as from April 2018, by removing NIC from the effects of the Limitation Act. The government is intending to consult on the details of this proposal. See here  for more details. The planned date of April 2018 and has been deferred and we currently await further updates.

Initial contact from HMRC

The first contact from HMRC will normally be a letter either:

  • highlighting specific areas and requesting information and records, or
  • requesting a time and date for a visit to review relevant records

The compliance check factsheet CC/FS3 ‘Compliance checks ― Visits ― by agreement or with advance notice’  will usually be enclosed.

A full list of compliance check factsheets may be found on HMRC’s website .

Contact by HMRC with the employer may be made by phone but arrangements must be confirmed in writing. The employer’s agent that is named on a form 64-8 on which the ‘Employer PAYE scheme’ box has been ticked will be sent a copy of the initial letter. Seven days’ notice of the inspection must be given unless a shorter time is agreed with the employer. Any doubt about the nature and extent of the records to be reviewed should be clarified as soon as possible. Normally records for up to 12 months will be requested.

If the suggested dates are not convenient then an alternative should be agreed as soon as is practicable. It should not usually be a problem arranging for the records to be reviewed away from the business, perhaps at the agent’s office.

Pre-visit disclosure

If it is known that there

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