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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Notifying assessments - forms, letters and schedules: explanatory letters and schedules

The law does not prescribe for how an assessment ought to be notified. Nevertheless when you notify an assessment using Form EX 601, you should send the form together with a letter which explains the reason for the assessment.

The letter should refer to the applicable primary and secondary legislation, including the legal provision under which you have made the assessment and, where relevant, provisions that prescribe, for example, the duty point, the person’s liability to pay and the time for payment.

If the person you have assessed understands fully the reason for the assessment then it is less likely that they will appeal. Equally, if a person does decide to appeal, we should have explained the basis of the assessment to them.

The explanatory letter should also explain the person’s right to a departmental review and should give the contact address of the review officer.

All letters and schedules must contain a statement to the effect that they form part of, and should be read in conjunction with the EX 601.