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Dealing with HMRC’s enquiries

11 December 2019 / John Cassidy , Kevin Igoe
Issue: 4724 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Dangerous delivery of documents


Key points

  • It is essential that accountants understand the rules and boundaries of HMRC enquiries.
  • Has the notice of enquiry been given in a valid format and on time?
  • Providing information when the notice is invalid could lead to a professional negligence claim.
  • Has HMRC explained the reason for the enquiry?
  • TMA 1970 s 9A restricts questions to the tax position for the year of enquiry.
  • Penalties may be suspended by setting conditions to ensure there is no future carelessness.

In response to a question as to why during enquiries the department’s inspectors continually ask for data that they must surely know is outside the scope of their powers a senior HMRC employee said: ‘Because accountants keep giving it to me.’ This clearly illustrates that advisers are not always aware of the relevant rules and boundaries and should therefore consider specialist advice if they are to...

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