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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Examinations: Examinations following a change of circumstances: Overview

Most changes of circumstances are actioned by the TCO or Contact Centres. Where, exceptionally, there is a significant risk and the change cannot be actioned the case will be sent to the compliance manager for an examination. The examination only covers the change of circumstances and must not cover aspects of the original award. So the examination is pre-award in terms of the change of circumstances but whilst you carry out your examination the original award will continue to be paid.

The manager will allocate the case to a compliance officer. The details are entered on the TCW or CCMIS.

Your first step is to decide whether a penalty might be appropriate, see CCM4360 

  • if a penalty might be appropriate - see CCM4760 
  • if a penalty is not appropriate you will continue as shown below.

You need to send the customer a letter, see CCM4365. This formally opens your examination and asks the customer to provide information or evidence to help you consider their notification.

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 notification of the change of circumstances in full - see CCM4375 
    • Accept part of the notification - see CCM4380 
    • Reject the notification - see CCM4385 
  • If the customer doesn’t respond within the time you gave them, you will make a decision as to whether you can accept any part of the notification of the change of circumstances - see CCM4390 

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 CCM4395. If you cannot revise your decision then the case may need to be heard by the Appeals Tribunal.