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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: recording information: introduction

You must always keep records of all compliance checks. You need to take accurate notes of telephone calls, visits and meetings held with the person or their representative.

Original hand written notes taken at the time of the telephone call, meeting or visit must be retained as well as more formal notes. The original notes may be of use if there is a dispute about what was said and may be required if the case goes to a tribunal hearing. If this happens you must be able to demonstrate to the tribunal the validity and accuracy of your original notes.

Where Caseflow is used the original notes must be sent to Netherton for scanning. You should retain a photocopy of your notes until you have checked the scanned image, (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) . By sending original notes for scanning you are still retaining the original notes but in an electronic format.

Managers must put in place comprehensive management checks to make sure the process for the recording of information and retention of completed notes is followed by all caseworkers, see CH203520.

If you are using a tablet or laptop follow the guidance at CH204100.

If you are making handwritten notes, a paper notebook is:

  • mandatory for indirect taxes, see CH204010
  • not mandatory for direct taxes

but where the business has agreed that direct tax caseworkers are to use notebooks then the guidance at CH204010 must be followed.

Direct tax caseworkers not using notebooks must follow the guidance at CH204500.