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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Introduction: Content and Readership

This manual contains detailed guidance on the conduct of enquiries for all years. It is aimed at everyone involved in enquiry work, including managers. ‘Enquiries’ encompass all work carried out to check returns after processing - from a single enquiry about one entry in a return to a detailed examination of all the taxpayer’s affairs. Enquiry work will be undertaken by staff from AO upwards.

The enquiry framework agreements can be accessed by copying the URL addresses below into the address bar:

Framework for ITSA Enquiries -

CTSA Enquiry Framework -

Our aim is to collect, at the right time, the right amount of tax due by law. Self assessment imposes much clearer responsibilities on taxpayers to assess their own income and gains. Our compliance strategy to achieve this has two strands:

  • support those who seek to be compliant and
  • come down hard on those who seek to gain an unfair advantage through non-compliance.

We must encourage voluntary compliance through customer service initiatives as well as by demonstrating through our compliance work that the likelihood and consequences of detection make deliberate evasion a poor choice.