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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Pre-award examinations: Action: Opening letter where there is no penalty

Your first contact with the customer(s) to open the examination must always be in writing.

You must use the standard letter template letter TCC72.

The letter formally opens the examination and tells the customer what aspects of their claim you are checking and what information you need, see CCM4220. The letter also tells the customer they will not receive any payments until they provide the information.

Where there is a joint claim, even if the risks only relate to one of the customers, you need to send separate copies of the letter to both customers.

You should always state the date by which the customer should get back to you and allow at least 30 days. For example, if you wrote on 06/08/08, you would specify 05/09/08 for a response. If you are aware that postal delays are likely, for example there is a strike or it is close to Christmas, allow a few extra days. Also allow a longer time if you know for example the customer is abroad or incapacitated and it means they will not be able to reply within 30 days.

Your next action will depend on any response to the opening letter. If the customer:

If the customer phones you to discuss your letter make full notes of everything they say and keep a record in your papers. If the customer has fully answered your queries over the phone they do not need to reply in writing and you should see CCM4320.