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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

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HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Supporting Guidance: business records checks: follow-up visits: referral - visiting officer’s actions

Examples of the type of cases that you must refer to RIS include:

  • where you have identified a technical failure (for example no PAYE, CIS or VAT registration), but otherwise the statutory records are adequate
  • the customer offers a voluntary disclosure relating to underassessment of tax in previous returns, see COG9401250 
  • where the statutory records are inadequate and suggest a significant underassessment of tax for earlier years.

If you consider that referral to RIS is appropriate, in most cases you should inform the customer of this course of action. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)  

You should also advise the customer of their basic statutory obligations (for example to set up a PAYE scheme or register for VAT). You need to consider each case on its own merits and use your judgement as to whether a referral is appropriate.

You must make a note of any such issues, and the advice given, in your notebook and refer the case to RIS or to the ERT with your manager’s approval.

RIS Referral Process (Technical failure cases)

You should only refer cases direct to RIS for early action where there has been a technical failure (for instance to operate PAYE). Use the existing procedures:

  • Access RIS website
  • Select RIS Mailboxes
  • Select Referral Form
  • Select Pass on Information (referral).

Where it is considered that a tax check is appropriate, based on inadequate record-keeping, send a report of facts to your manager first. Such reports will normally be appropriate after completion of the follow up visit to avoid delay in resolving the record keeping penalty.

Managers should review the facts and advise you of their decision and reasoning which should be recorded in Caseflow documentum.

ERT Referral Process

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Case Control

Each referral case should be correctly recorded on the MIS Application.