HMRC employer compliance check visits

Produced by Tolley in association with Lesley Fidler
HMRC employer compliance check visits

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with Lesley Fidler provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • HMRC employer 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

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

Initial contact from HMRC

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

  1. highlighting specific areas and requesting information and records, or

  2. requesting a time and date for a visit to review relevant records

The compliance check factsheet CC/FS3 ‘Compliance checks ― visits by agreement or advance notice’ should 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, where named on a form 64-8 on which the ‘Employer PAYE scheme’ box has been ticked and the employer’s PAYE reference entered, should 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 are irregularities in current or previous years, whether as a result of a PAYE health check or otherwise, then consideration should be given to disclosing these at the earliest opportunity. It is very difficult to envisage a situation in which withholding this information from HMRC could ever be a justifiable course of action. Once notification of the visit has been given, the

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