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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Enquiries: Action: Preliminary checks

Potential enquiries will be sent to the manager who then allocates them to a Compliance Officer. The details are entered on TCW or CCMIS. However, before you can open an enquiry you need to carry out four preliminary checks. These must be considered in every potential enquiry case.

Step 1 {#}

You must decide if the risks are all discrepancy risks - see CCM17020. These risks are those where HMRC hold data which differs from that on the claim. For example the declared income differs to that on the P14 or SA return. You need to compare the risks identified with those listed at CCM17050.

Note: If the risk is income you should be aware that some employers are adding Benefits in Kind to the total taxable pay shown on the P60. If there is a discrepancy between the income figure shown on the PAYE system and the claim you must check with the employer to establish if the Benefits in Kind have been included on the P60. See TCM0118220 for Benefits in Kind that are excluded for Tax Credit purposes. If the P60 includes any of the Benefits in Kind listed deduct them from the P60 income figure.

  • If the risks are all discrepancy risks - follow the guidance in Chapter 17
  • If the risks are not all discrepancy risks, go to Step 2.

Step 2

Is the enquiry window open? The enquiry window does not open until we have made a final S18 decision including actual income details or the case was an auto-renewal case or there was no reply by the first specified date (see CCM11040) and we finalised the award. - see CCM16130.

  • If the enquiry window is open, go to Step 3
  • If the enquiry window has not yet opened BF the papers until it is open. In the mean time you might want to consider a Section 16 examination, see CCM4405.

Step 3

Has the enquiry window closed? See CCM16140 and CCM16150.

  • If the enquiry window has closed you cannot open an enquiry. You will only be able to consider making a discovery decision - see Chapter 13.
  • If the enquiry window has not closed, go to Step 4

Step 4

Has an S18 decision notice been issued for the enquiry year?

  • If a decision notice has been issued, see CCM16230 
  • If a decision notice has not been issued, see CCM12035 and once you can open an enquiry return to Step 1.