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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
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Opening and Working Enquiries: Revised actual details

Where a S18(1) decision has been made on the basis of actual income (i.e. it is the final decision) before the first or second specified dates (as appropriate), see CCM11040 and CCM11050 the customer(s) will be able to revise their statement at any time up to

  • the first specified date - where the actual details were reported before that date or
  • the second specified date - where an estimate was provided before the first specified date and followed by the actual details before the second specified date.

But you can open an enquiry once the S18 decision based on actual income has been made. If the customer(s) subsequently makes a revised statement, this will not affect the validity of your enquiry - though, of course, you will need to take account in your enquiry of the revised information.

Even though a customer has voluntarily revised their previous statement, penalties might still be appropriate if the original statement was made negligently. You will need to consider the amount of care which the customer took in reporting the original figure. For example in response to the S17 notice the customer originally reported an estimate of £6,500 for 2003/2004. At a later date he states the actual income was £22,000. You will need to ask why the original figure was so low but in the absence of exceptional circumstances the statement must have been made negligently. The customer could not reasonably have thought the income was so low. However, if the actual income had been £7,500 it will probably be difficult to demonstrate neglect at the time the customer made the statement.

If you think a penalty is due for negligently providing an inadequate estimate, you should seek advice from the Compliance, Technical Team (B&C Del) before proceeding.