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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Discrepancy Examinations and Enquiries: Information: What are Discrepancy Examinations and Enquiries?

Discrepancy examinations and enquiries are straightforward compliance checks into aspects of a claim where we have specific information or data that suggests that particular aspect of a claim or award is incorrect. For example income, childcare (where we have contacted the childcare provider), disability, employment and qualifying young people. 

Discrepancy examinations and enquiries are usually into a single aspect of a claim but they can involve more than one aspect.

Discrepancy examinations can be carried out pre-award or post-award.

Pre-award discrepancy examinations are carried out before the claim goes into payment, as such avoiding HMRC delay is particularly important.

Post-award discrepancy examinations are carried out after we have started making provisional payments on the award. They can only be started during that award year

Discrepancy enquiries are carried out after the end of the year once the award has been finalised.

Enquiries is a legal term used in the Tax Credit Act 2002 while the term ‘examinations’ is used to describe compliance work carried out pre-award or in-year, to help staff and claimants distinguish these cases from enquiries.