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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Examinations: Examinations following a change of circumstances: The customer does not reply to the opening letter

If the customer does not respond to your opening letter by the date specified, you should:

  • check to see if the information has been received in your office, but not yet passed to you
  • consider whether there may be any exceptional circumstances preventing the customer from replying, for example a postal dispute.

Where appropriate you should contact the customer(s) by phone to remind them of the need to deal with your query. If you think there is a problem you can allow a further week or exceptionally more than this with your manager’s agreement.

If the opening letter has been returned RLS or you know the address is false reject the claim in respect of the change of circumstances - see CCM5287.

In all other cases if you are satisfied the customer(s) has been given every opportunity to supply the information you will have 2 options:-

  • Issue a reminder
  • make a formal request for the information
  1. Issue a reminder - where there has been no reply, issue letter TCC87 which tells the customer that if they do not reply within 14 days we will reject the claim in respect of the change of circumstances. If the customer then replies - see CCM4370. If there is no reply after 14 days you will need to reject the claim in respect of the change of circumstances as shown in CCM4385.
  2. Formal request for information - it will be very rare in a change of circumstances case that you decide to make a formal request for information. Where you do decide to follow this route see CCM5090.