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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: compliance check series of factsheets: introduction

HMRC has published a series of factsheets to help customers understand why and how we carry out compliance checks and

  • their rights and obligations
  • the benefits of disclosing unpaid tax at the start of the check
  • what to expect at the end of the check
  • the penalty system
  • how to appeal against HMRC decisions.

A general information factsheet is issued at the start of every compliance check. The other factsheets are issued as and when they are required to explain particular processes such as information notices and inspections, see CH202050.

It is particularly important that you make sure that customers understand their right not to incriminate themselves when you ask for information that might result in a penalty for tax evasion. To do that you must give them the Human Rights Act factsheet before asking them questions about their actions that might result in evidence of deliberate behaviour. There is more guidance on this at CH402350.

If a customer requests a factsheet at any stage during a check you must issue it to them. If someone who is not the subject of a check requests a factsheet during the general course of your day to day work, you should direct them to the HMRC internet site where they can find all the compliance check factsheets and the appeals factsheet, HMRC1.

Some of the factsheets only apply to certain taxes or duties. You should take care that you do not issue a factsheet for a tax or duty that is not listed in the right hand panel of each factsheet. If a customer requests a factsheet that does not apply to your check you should make them aware of this.

The factsheets can be found on (GOV.UK) or in SEES>Forms and Letters.