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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Working the Enquiry: Keeping Control: Missing Papers

Where enquiry papers for any case which is under enquiry go missing, you should ensure that a thorough search is made for them in accordance with AD2l70, (or, if the enquiry is working from a repayment claim folder RE3059).

If the search fails, you should make a report to contact link in duplicate (through your Deputy Director (Compliance) at Regional Office (who will detach the second copy). The report must be countersigned by your Area Director (Compliance) and should include the following information.

  • The name and address of the taxpayer, the business or occupation, and the name and address of any accountant or agent who may be acting.
  • Confirmation that the searches set out in AD2170 (or RE3059) have been carried out without success.
  • The type of case (for example, CT full or aspect, etc), the date it was opened and the stage reached.
  • The date when the loss of the papers was discovered and when, by whom and in what circumstances they were last seen.
  • The name and grade of the officer conducting the enquiry.
  • Any details which can be recalled of the amounts of the under-assessments etc likely to be involved.
  • The steps taken (or proposed) to reconstitute the file or papers.

A report is required when the enquiry folder or the whole file is missing.

Where original returns, accounts or other documents essential for proof in actual proceedings of a liability (including penalties) have been lost or destroyed, you should make a report to contact link. This should be done before HMRC’s claim is limited to the duty for which assessments are competent or any other settlement is discussed. The report should give particulars of the documents destroyed, together with whatever information required by EM/App 2 is available.