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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

Form EX601 management control procedures: details of the procedure

Action to be taken by assessing officer when notifying assessments

Step 1

Before notifying the assessment (including prime assessments), the assessing officer must telephone the relevant accounting centre responsible for the revenue assessments specified in the contact list at EAIG31500.

The accounting centre will advise a unique local Assessment Reference Number (ARN).

Step 2

Upon being advised of the ARN by telephone, the assessing officer must:

  • immediately record the allocated ARN in the appropriate field of Form EX 601 - for example ‘ARN GR 15/04’;
  • have the completed form checked and authorised as appropriate. 

Step 3

The assessing officer must then notify the assessment by sending to the trader:

  • the top and second (remittance) copies of the EX601*;
  • an explanatory letter clearly stating the basis of the assessment
  • any schedule; and
  • a copy of Form EX603 Explanatory Notes.

The assessing officer must then immediately send the third (accounting) copy of the EX601 to the relevant accounting centre.

The fourth copy of the EX601 should be retained in the trader’s file. (This copy will be needed if in the event of any queries, requests for departmental review or appeals to Tribunal.)

  • Batch each copy of any EX601A continuation sheet that forms part of the assessment with its counterpart from the EX601 and dispose of each set as a single item. The top copy of Form EX601A is for the trader, the second copy is the keying (accounting) copy and the third copy is to be retained in the trader’s file.

Action to be taken by assessing officer when request for review/appeal is received or assessment withdrawn/amended

The assessing officer must notify the relevant accounting centre immediately where a request for review/appeal is received or the assessment is withdrawn or amended.

Accounting centre action when notified by assessing officer of revenue or penalty assessment

Step 1

Issue the ARN to the assessing officer. The accounting centre should request and record

  • the trader’s name and registration number;
  • the amount and type of revenue to be assessed; and
  • the assessing officer’s name, telephone number and e-mail address.

The accounting centre must keep a list of ARNs issued.

The format of the ARN should be the accounting centre initials followed by the sequential number and the year - for example GR 01/01, GR 02/01 etc, for assessments processed by Greenock accounting centre.

Step 2

Contact the assessing officer if the relevant accounting copy of Form EX601 has not been received within 10 calendar days of the issue of the ARN.

Accounting centre action when EX601 received without any recorded ARN

Should an EX601 be received without any recorded ARN, one should be allocated upon receipt. The accounting centre should:

  • advise the assessing officer to note the ARN on the fourth (file) copy of the EX601; and
  • remind them about the need to obtain an ARN prior to notifying the assessment.

Persistent lapses from this procedure should be advised to the assessing officer’s manager.

Note: ARN records kept by accounting centres must provide a full audit trail control record of all assessments notified.

Accounting centre action when advised of a request for review/appeal or of withdrawal/amendment of assessment

For debts already reported by the accounting centre to the DMU, the accounting centre is to notify the DMU immediately where a request for review/appeal is advised or the assessment is advised as withdrawn or amended.

Accounting centre action where debt remains unpaid

Accounting centres may continue to issue reminders or notify unpaid debts to the DMU in accordance with local practice.

Recovery of the excise debt cannot commence until the statutory 45 day assessment review period has expired. The DMU must be advised immediately if the debt remains unpaid 45 calendar days after the assessment.

DMU action when payments received or time to pay agreements made

The DMU is to advise the accounting centre of payments received and time to pay agreements.