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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Opening the Enquiry: Information Request: Aspect Enquiry

Aspect Enquiry - Business and Non Business Taxpayers

If the risks identified limit the enquiry, at least initially, to one or more aspects of the return, you should concentrate your request for information on those documents etc. relevant to that particular point or points. You must always aim to ask, in the opening letter, for all the details you consider you will need to examine the point thoroughly. Some examples follow of requests for information in aspect enquiries.

Example 1 - Gain on the disposal of a property which was previously let and which has been owned by the taxpayer since 1970

You may want to check

  • the market value of the property at 31 March 1982. This will probably involve referral to the Valuation Office Agency. If so you should consider, in appropriate cases, approaching them in advance to agree what information they will need to check the valuation
  • whether an election under TCGA92/S35 (5) is in force, and/or
  • whether the property has ever been used as the taxpayer’s private residence
  • whether indexation allowance or taper has been calculated correctly.

You should attempt to identify at the outset all the documents and so on which you will need to make a full check of all these items. You may want to see documents relating to the acquisition and/or sale, to incidental costs of purchase and/or sale and to improvements to the property. If the taxpayer has had a professional valuation of the property at 31 March 1982, you may wish to see this too.

If you need any clarification of the detail of the computation of the gain you should ask for these particulars at this stage.

Example 2 - Claim for exemption from tax on living accommodation provided by the employer on the grounds of `representative occupation’

You might request particulars relating to the claim such as

  • details of the duties performed
  • the hours of necessary attendance
  • the nature and location of the property, and so on
  • the contract of employment or other documentation in which the relevant terms and conditions are stated.