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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Quality Assurance: quality assurance reviews: Individuals and Small Business Compliance/Wealthy and Mid-sized Business Compliance (ISBC/WMBC) mandatory time-driven reviews: timing


Managers must carry out mandatory time-driven reviews (MTDR) on all open compliance checks at the stage appropriate to their tax regime, as indicated in the table below, and ensure they are completed no later than 4 weeks after the due date.*

Customer Group Specific Area Timescale
(at this stage below from the date the case is opened)  
  Large Business (LB)
  Tax Avoidance and Partial Exemption (TAPE) 4 months  
  All other LB teams 12 months  
  Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Direct tax 18 months
  Indirect tax 6 months  
  Personal and Capital Gains Tax (P&CGT) 24 months  
  Affluent, Public Bodies & Employment Status & Intermediaries (APEC) Employment Status & Intermediaries (ES&I) 18 months
  Direct tax 18 months  
  Indirect tax 6 months  
  Illegal and Undeclared Working National Minimum Wage 180 days**
  Customs, International Trade and Excise (CITEX) All CITEX teams 13 weeks
  Central Compliance Operations Compliance Centres On a project basis
  Centralised VAT Ops teams Set per work area  
  Dispute Resolution and Anti Money Laundering Supervision Complaints 12 weeks

*In NMW, the Operational Advisory Team (OAT) carry out MTDRs no later than 20 working days after they receive an email from the Compliance Officer that the case is ready for review.

**The OAT review cases where a Notice of Underpayment has not yet been issued at 120 days from the date the case was accepted on Caseflow. They select 50% of cases submitted for review at this stage with any case not selected being reviewed at 180 days.

On opening a case on Caseflow review dates should be set by the caseworker and the manager. Due to the use of visit bookers for indirect tax cases the opening date is deemed to be the date from first contact with the customer COG14300. For all other tax regimes the opening date is first contact by the caseworker.

Specialist and Process Teams

For teams with other imposed/mandatory time limits for their activity the above time limits should be used to define appropriate ‘back stop’ time-driven reviews. These will include teams who are:

  • undertaking pre-credibility checks in VAT
  • considering proposals for Partial Exemption Special Methods (PESMs)
  • undertaking CT processing work.

Managers must set the timing of these quality reviews to reflect the risks to quality appropriately.