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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: commencing the compliance check: initial meeting - preparation and approach

Thorough preparation is the key to a smooth initial meeting. You should remember to:

  • make sure the person responsible for maintaining the records is available at the meeting
  • make sure the employer/contractor understands that the initial meeting is an important and integral part of the compliance check, not just a preamble
  • use the interview brief (COG905040) as a guide to the questions to ask
  • adopt a flexible approach
  • tailor enquiries to the nature of the business and inherent risks
  • keep questions informal and use conversational style
  • not be officious or interrogate the employer/contractor
  • avoid jargon as this could create barriers for example use ‘claim for allowable expenses’ rather than ‘a S336 claim’.

If the employer/contractor becomes angry or abusive it is important to remain calm and polite. In this way you should retain control of the meeting. A verbal attack on HM Revenue & Customs is not a personal attack on you. Staff should remain neutral and not become defensive.

If at any time you feel personally threatened you should leave the employer/contractor’s premises and report the incident to your manager.

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