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HMRC internal manual

Air Passenger Duty

Assessments and voluntary disclosures: Officers' assessments: audit trail

If an officer discovers an underdeclaration or overdeclaration of APD during an audit the procedure detailed in APD7230 must be followed (also refer to APD5700 for information on interest on officers’ assessments).

Audit reports together with supporting papers should conform with the requirements contained within our audit standards. This should provide a clear record to support any decision to assess. Should the assessed person seek a departmental review, the reviewing officer will need access to the papers when considering the case. The issuing officer may also be called upon to defend the decision at a VAT and duties tribunal.

The audit trail for assessments should include details of:

  • the basis of the assessment and calculations in a visit report;
  • the office copy of the input documents;
  • copies of the output documents returned from the CCU; and
  • copies of any letters and schedules issued to support the assessment.

It is important that managers include an examination of the assessment audit trail as part of their risk based management checks. It is recommended that systematic testing be carried out to ensure there is supporting documentation and check on documents sent to CCU. The making and notification of the assessment should also be checked to ensure accuracy and compliance with the law.