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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

RLS: Missing VAT customers: Customer’s responsibility

Customer’s responsibility to notify change of addressIt is important for both security and accuracy that VAT registered customers notify any change, especially of address or bank details, in writing. When you receive notification by telephone, personal call or from other sources, ask customers for written confirmation as soon as possible.

If you encounter difficulty, explain that written confirmation is required

  • to protect their interests
  • for reasons of security and
  • to limit the scope for inaccuracies on the VAT register.For more information see V1-28 Registration.

Written notification not receivedIf there is no response to your request:

Step Action
1 After 7 calendar days issue a reminder to the trader.
2 After a further 7 calendar days, or if at any time written confirmation is refused, refer the case to the appropriate level of line management.
3 If sufficient evidence is available to substantiate the belief that the trader is at a particular address and the line manager has no reason to doubt the validity of a change, they may give written authority for the necessary amending action to be taken. Authorisation is at senior officer level for VAT 12 Change of address without signed confirmation from trader.

Ensure evidence of the change is recorded in DTR and EF and forward to VRU for processing. See V1 – 28 Registration for further information.

If it is considered necessary for a visit to be made to the trader’s premises, the written authority is to be scanned onto Electronic Folder.

Penalty for failing to notify change of addressA VAT registered trader is required to notify us within 30 days of a change to the VAT registered address (Regulation 5(2) of the Value Added Tax Regulations 1995). If not the customer is liable to a financial penalty for breaching this regulatory requirement.

See V1-27 Civil Penalties Section 11 for more information.