End of year: Considerations for Open Enquiry Cases
Whichever year you have opened as an Enquiry, the issues are exactly the same. In all cases the Enquiry year you are looking into will have been finalised before it is opened. Therefore the year itself does not cause any further End of Year issues. However in the vast majority of cases the decision you make in the Enquiry year will affect the year that has to be finalised as well as any finalised years that fall between your enquiry year and the one to be finalised
- The basic point to remember is that we are trying to reach a position where we can make an S18 decision. To do this we must have enough evidence to make our compliance decision and have the claimant’s declaration - whether given verbally or in writing or have reached 1SD with no response to the S17 notice
- In all Enquiry cases check that you have issued opening letters in any years that have been finalised where your decision in the Enquiry year will have an impact on the award in that year
- Before you make amendments to earlier years, you must gain authorisation from your HO manager
- You must amend the award beginning the earlier years first, then conduct finalisation and renewal action (as appropriate)
For example - you open a 07/08 Enquiry and it is still open at 05/04/10. Your decision is an Undeclared Partner moved in 06/09/07. If you enter the decision then it has a knock on effect into 08/09 and 09/10, because the 5 April 2010 has passed the decision for that year must be under S18. The amendment to 08/09 will be under S19 so, before amending 07/08, you must have given notice of your intention to enquire into 08/09 and you must have reached a point where you can legally make a decision under S18 for 09/10.
In the above example if the risk only existed in 08/09 and had no impact in any other year i.e a period of childcare from 01/05/08 to 01/02/09 then you would be able to make your decision at any time as there is no end of year issues to consider.
Note: If you set the ‘Inhibit Finalisation’ on NTC and your decision does not require any renew/finalise action, then you must remove the inhibit marker
There are 7 scenarios that you may come across whilst you have an open Enquiry. Actions to take are outlined separately on the following pages.