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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Working the Enquiry: Keeping Control: Introduction

It is essential to retain control of any enquiry’s progress.

You keep control of a case, by

  • having an intervention plan and work programme that you can update as the enquiry progresses EM2906
  • having a well ordered file so that you or any other enquiry officer or manager can easily appreciate the up to date position and find all the relevant papers EM1812
  • not causing any material delay in the case. If the ball remains in your court for long periods of time it is difficult to complain about delay by others EM1813 and you may have problems with imposing any penalty EM1360
  • ensuring that the taxpayer and his or her agent are always aware of what is expected of them EM1855
  • agreeing realistic timetables for action by any agent and checking progress rather than waiting until a deadline has expired only to discover that nothing has been done EM1855
  • raising discovery assessments, and making enquiry amendments
  • bearing in mind where you expect the case to go and what you need to know and do to get it there
  • preventing delay where you do not receive prompt co-operation EM1815 and using your information powers CH20000+
  • requesting payments on account once it is clear that duties have been unpaid EM1935+ and where you consider tax is at risk making jeopardy amendments EM1950+
  • acting reasonably and courteously so that there are no grounds for the taxpayer to make a complaint.