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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: large business: contact with business required (to address risk)

Once the Action Plan, see COG905610 / COG905620, has been reviewed by the CRM/Lead Tax Specialist it may be decided that a visit is required to address the risk.

In all instances every attempt should be made to undertake any activity by way of collaborative engagement.

Collaborative engagement follows RBSA principles (see COG905075) however activity should be restricted to

  • Addressing the risks identified
  • Undertake a systems check.

However is should not include a full record review and should be restricted to an appropriate walkthrough restricted to an appropriate sample check of records.

The extent of the systems check will depend on whether the business has had any previous compliance activity.

If there has been activity

  • restrict your check to those systems which have not been reviewed previously.

Where there has been

  • no previous compliance activity, or
  • previous compliance activity but systems templates contain insufficient detail

a more comprehensive review of systems will be appropriate where

  • a RBSA, see COG905075 will be conducted, and
  • outcomes of the systems tested recorded in case papers and within the Business Overview Template (BOT).

LB Assurance Visit

Visiting an employer is only one of several methods LB uses to communicate and seek assurances from its customers.

LB has an ongoing relationship with its customers with CRM’s and TS’s permanently allocated to specific businesses. Under such circumstances the aim is for there to be an increased level of knowledge about the business and the associated risks it presents. Often there will be regular exchanges by telephone, email and by correspondence, and also periodic face to face meetings between LB staff and their opposite numbers.

The majority of issues will be progressed satisfactorily by these means, however occasionally the most effective and appropriate means of progressing an issue will be to visit the employer to inspect records. The nature and extent of such visits will be agreed with, and authorised by, the CRM in advance.


In CRM cases the initial contact will be decided by the CRM.

In CC cases the initial contact will be

  • by the EC Tax Specialist on the Primary Response Team and where possible with initial contact by telephone.

If contact is made by telephone or initial contact is by correspondence you should use the appropriate letter which is available in SEES Forms and Letters.

Action following the visit

Once the visit has been concluded the business will be

  • informed of the results
  • provided with guidance on how they may wish to amend systems to make them more robust
  • asked to confirm changes made to improve their systems
  • advised on how we plan to proceed.

Where minor errors have been identified the business will be

  • provided with written guidance on how to rectify
  • no recovery will be made.

Where material errors have been identified the business will be

  • asked to confirm acceptance that a liability arises
  • provided with HRA advice, see COG906070 
  • asked to quantify the liability within an agreed timescale (prompted disclosure)
  • advised of system changes required
  • advised to forward payment of the quantified amount.

Once the business has responded you should

  • calculate interest and request payment
  • consider penalties
  • note the BOT in shared workspace.

It is expected that the majority of cases will be commenced and concluded as collaborative engagement but where material errors have been identified that the business disputes you should

  • refer to the CRM/Lead TS to consider more formal activity as outlined in the L&C Response Framework.