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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Pre-award examinations: Action: Overview

Potential pre-award examinations will be sent to the manager who then allocates them to a Compliance Officer. The details are entered on the TCW or CCMIS.

There are two steps to be considered. The first step is to decide if the risks are all discrepancy risks - see CCM17020. These risks are those where HMRC hold data which differs to 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 to those listed at CCM17020.

  • If the risks are all discrepancy risks - follow the guidance in Chapter 17
  • If the risks are not all discrepancy risks continue as shown below.

The next step is to decide whether a penalty might be appropriate, see CCM4310 

  • if a penalty might be appropriate - see CCM4620 
  • if a penalty is not appropriate you will continue as shown below.

You need to send the customer a letter, see CCM4315. This formally opens your examination and asks the customer to provide information or evidence to help you consider their claim.

You then need to consider any response:

  • if the customer provides the information you asked for, you will make a decision to either

    • Accept the claim in full - see CCM4325 
    • Accept part of the claim - see CCM4330 
    • Reject the claim - see CCM4335 
  • If the customer doesn’t respond within the time you gave them - see CCM4340 

Once you have made your decision:

  • you should write to the customer explaining your decision and issue any notice setting out your decision and telling them your examination is now closed. The customer has a right to appeal against your decision.

If the customer appeals you will need to consider whether you can revise your decision to settle the appeal by agreement, see CCM4345. If you cannot revise your decision then the case may need to be heard by the Appeals Tribunal.