What is the Single Compliance Process?

By Tolley in association with Guy Smith of inTAX Ltd

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:

  • 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 with a culture of transparency and cost awareness at its core. After the initial design phase of the newly-titled ‘Single Compliance Process’ was complete, 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, although by January 2012 16 tax offices were involved.

The latest agent briefing paper from HMRC can be found on the archived version of HMRC’s website .

When the trial period concluded a report was filed with the SCP Project Board, who called for more data to be provided before implementation of the SCP became more widespread.

SCP is intended to become the new framework under which HMRC conducted small and medium business enquiry work going forward, catering for both direct and indirect taxes, although, it will not be used by the Civil Investigation of Fraud (CIF) or Criminal Investigation teams, nor other specialist divisions with HMRC. However, no new information has been available for some time.

How does HMRC expect the SCP to be different?

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