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HMRC internal manual

Holding and Movements Alcohol Strategy - Pre Visit Preparation

Introduction: Scope of this guidance

Our books of guidance are the main reference material for people in the Department. All Revenue & Customs formal procedures and work systems are outlined in these books,which give managers and staff the department’s rules and guidelines and general advice interpreting them.

The guidance is aimed at Revenue and Customs staff and should not be relied upon by businesses in calculating their taxes and duties.

The X-99 Alcohol Strategy guidance comprises a number of sections which were developed primarily for use by Local Compliance and Large Business Service assurance officers involved in delivering the Alcohol Strategy. Much of the material will also apply to other areas of excise audit and compliance work, e.g. tobacco holding & movement. The guidance in this series is as follows:

  • Alcohol Strategy: Overview
  • Registration and Approval
  • Audit risk Model & PERCET
  • Pre-Visit Preparation
  • Credibility
  • Supply Chain Verification
  • Annual Accounts
  • Duty Stamps
  • Subsidiary Records
  • Unannounced Visits
  • Cash Transactions
  • Post Visit Action

This guidance covers some of the key areas officers and managers should consider when preparing for assurance events. The principles are true for all assurance activity but will have some additional emphasis where elements are particularly key to contributing towards Alcohol Strategy aims and objectives.

Assurance is increasingly driven by risk regardless of whether the risks are inherent within a particular excise regime or displayed by specific traders or their supply chains.

As the Alcohol Strategy develops officers and Risk Teams will have more information with which to test and structure assurance events. This information must be used to inform and plan assurance activity in advance of visiting traders. Officers should have the support of their Assurance Managers in helping them identify and set clear and achievable objectives for an assurance event. Managers should also support the development of good practice and sensible strategies for planning and conducting assurance events effectively.

With some activity (e.g. involving Mutual Assistance, requiring support from Audit Service personnel or accountants) resources should be sought well in advance to avoid any lengthy delay in progressing enquiries. Therefore officers and their managers need to be aware of likely resource requirements and factor these into their assurance plans.