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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Working the examination: Claimant(s) questions details of claim

If the claimant(s) states that they did not provide some of the information included in the claim, you should retrieve a copy of the claim form - see the Tax Credit Manual for guidance on the retrieval procedures. Note that in most cases the claim form will have been scanned, so that your request (TC116) will result in a copy of the scanned (imaged) form. In a minority of cases, it will not (for a variety of reasons) have been possible to scan the form, so it will have been manually captured by an operator. In these cases, your request will result in the receipt of the original form. The screen in function View Application will show whether or not the form has been received on paper, over the Internet or, in future, by telephone. If it shows that the claim was submitted by the Internet, there is no claim form to get a copy of, you would therefore be requesting a copy of the signed decision notice (which the claimant(s) signs to confirm the details are all correct).

You should bring the meeting to a close and arrange to meet the claimant(s) again once you have the form, or the imaged copy, or the signed decision notice available. If you have the original form, you should check it against the screen entries to confirm that it has been accurately captured. If you find that there has been an error, which impacts on your examination, you should take this into account in bringing the examination to a close. You should also consider the time the claimant(s) have to notify the Tax Credit Office / IRCC of any incorrectness in their decision notice If you discover minor errors which would not affect the issues under consideration, you should disclose this information to the claimant(s), stressing its lack of impact.

Where the form has been imaged, you should explain to the claimant(s) that the image is a photographic record of the original form, so that there is no possibility of human error during capture. If the claimant(s), having considered the imaged form, accepts that it is the form they completed, you should continue with your examination in the normal way.

If the claimant(s) still denies supplying the information on the form, whether the original or an imaged version, you should again emphasise the integrity of the imaging process, if appropriate. You should inform the claimant(s) of your conclusions about their entitlement, and tell them that you intend to close your examination on the basis that the form is in fact the one they sent in. You should explain that they will have a right of appeal against your formal decision.

If at any stage you suspect that a fraud has been committed, you should bring the meeting to a close without taking any further action, and refer to your manager for.