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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Companies: Groups: Opening Letters in Large Group Enquiries

FA98/SCH18/PARA 24

HMRC must give notice to ‘the company’ of its intention to enquire into a return. This means that the notice must be served on the proper officer, normally the company secretary, of each company in the group. This could result in large numbers of enquiry notices being sent at the same time to one person in the case of large groups of companies.

To overcome this where

  • the same person is the proper officer for a number of companies in the group, and
  • correspondence for all companies in the group is addressed to an in-house tax department, and
  • it is probable that each year you will need to open enquiries into a large number of companies in the group at the same time

you may agree with that person that notices of intention to enquire into the returns of more than one company in the group with the same accounting period can be incorporated in a single letter.

The agreement should

  • identify all the companies in the group covered by the agreement
  • include arrangements to notify companies entering or leaving the group
  • be signed by a proper officer of each company covered by the agreement
  • make it clear that separate closure notices will be issued for each return to conclude the enquiry

Use the draft agreement and modifiy it as appropriate.

Where such an agreement is in place the notice of intention to enquire and factsheet CC/FS1 should be sent to the proper officer at the Registered Office in the following terms.

I am writing to tell you that I intend to enquire into the company tax returns of the following companies for the period (…….)

(followed by a list of the companies to be covered by the notice).

  • A note should be made in the file of any company that is not included in the single opening letter agreement and you must ensure that a separate notice of enquiry is given in those cases.