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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

Form EX601 management control procedure: background to the procedure

In the late 1990s Internal Audit Division carried out a number of reviews and system audits in the area of assessments and debt management. They identified procedural weaknesses in the EX 601 system and a lack of control of excise debts. The IAD recommended

  • reminding all staff of the importance of reporting promptly all excise debts at the time of assessment; and
  • implementing a system that would provide an audit trail record of all EX 601 assessments made, together with an effective management control system.

They also stressed the importance of making assessments for errors identified on a visit, rather than requesting adjustment by the trader on the next return.

The management control procedure set out in this section was introduced with effect from 1 July 2001 and provides the control system and EX 601 audit trail record recommended by the IAD.

This manual procedure remains in operation pending the planned introduction of an automated accounting system that will ensure immediate posting of assessments to the trader’s account (where the assessed person is registered) and prompt debt recovery action when necessary. Debt recovery action is reliant on the assessing officer sending the accounting copy of the EX 601 to the accounting centre, for onward notification to the debt management unit.