HMRC can conduct tax compliance checks on an individual taxpayer or on those who run a business. This guide explains how the checks get conducted and what you might need to do.
HMRC COMPLIANCE CHECK: The reason tax affairs get checked is to ensure you pay the right amount.
The details and information HMRC can check include:
You get a compliance check letter or a phone call from HM Revenue and Customs if they want to check your tax affairs. HMRC will contact your accountant instead if you use one to manage your taxes on your behalf.
Note: You can appoint a tax agent or authorise someone else to handle your taxation. If so, you must inform HMRC who you want to use and which tax they will manage for you.
As a rule, HM Revenue and Customs inspectors will ask to make a visit to your home or the business premises. In some cases they will conduct the check at your adviser's office or they might even ask you to visit them instead.
Note: The HMRC tax compliance check process allows you to have a legal adviser or an accountant with you during the visit.
HMRC will send a notice for inspection or for information. Failing to send the information to them or refusing to attend a visit can result in a penalty.
But, anyone with a 'reasonable excuse' will not need to pay the penalty. Reasonable excuses would include things like:
Write to HM Revenue and Customs if you feel they should postpone the check. Send the compliance check letter to the same office that sent you the notice and explain your reasons for the request.
At any time in the process you have the right to apply for Alternative Dispute Resolution. ADR applies to times when you disagree with a decision made by HMRC or what they are checking.
After HMRC have conducted the tax check they will write to inform you of the results. The outcome is usually one of two situations:
HMRC income tax compliance checks can result in a financial penalty. The tax inspectors base fines and penalties on:
Note: Inform the tax officer dealing with the inspection if you have any problems with a payment. You can also make a tax appeal if you disagree with the final decision.
HMRC Income Tax Compliance Checks in the United Kingdom