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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Companies: Quarterly Instalment Payments: Approach

Enquiries about a company’s compliance with the instalment payment regulations will only be appropriate where you have indications that the company has deliberately or recklessly failed to make instalment payments commensurate with the information available to the company on the due dates for the instalments, or made a fraudulent or negligent claim to repayment, such that it appears that a penalty may be due. Only authorised officers EM8305 can use the information powers. You must seek advice from contact link, before you take any penalty action under Regulation 13 of the instalment regulations.

Where it is appropriate to review the instalment payment position you should do this at the same time as your review of the CTSA return. You should keep any queries about instalment payments separate from any enquiries you make into the return. You can make enquiries into the company’s instalment payments before you have opened an enquiry into the company’s return. And you can still enquire into the instalment payment position if you need to, even where your risk assessment of the CTSA return reveals no areas of risk which need to be addressed by means of an enquiry.

Where your review indicates that the company should be within the instalment payment regulations you should ensure that the Quarterly Instalment Payer signal is set on COTAX CTM92680.

The indications of risk which you should take into account when deciding whether you need to further check the instalment payments position, in order to ascertain whether a penalty may be due include

  • comparison with earlier years’ liabilities
  • reports in published accounts (including interim accounts) or the financial press which are out of line with payments made
  • no payments made
  • CTSA return not filed on time.

If as a result of your review you conclude that you need to request information or documents from the company in order to check the instalment payment position and you are not an officer to whom authority has been delegated, you should confirm with such an officer that he or she is content with your proposed actions.