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HMRC internal manual

Hydrocarbon Oils Strategy

Post detection audit and assessment: producing assessment schedules

Schedules general

All assessments must be accompanied by comprehensive schedules which clearly show how the assessment figures were calculated. The trader must be able to understand the assessment. Also an assessment schedule may need to be used to explain how an assessment was arrived at to a Tribunal or used as evidence in a criminal trial. Any additional working papers that might be needed to explain how an assessment was calculated must be kept in the case file.

Assessment method 1

  • Show the mileage figures and calculations for each vehicle, the miles per gallon (MPG) and the fuel usage.
  • List all fuel receipts.
  • Show shortfall in legitimate fuel purchases, applicable duty rates and duty due.

Ensure that the necessary conversions from kilometres to miles and gallons to litres figures have been done. The conversion rates should be shown on the schedule. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) HCOS5650(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

Prepare a schedule of any fuel invoices that have been disallowed.

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Assessment method 2

  • Show calculations for legitimate usage of oil for all excepted vehicles, plant and equipment etc.
  • List rebated oil purchases.
  • Show excess of rebated oil purchased, applicable duty rates and duty due.

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Issuing assessments

The assessment must be notified to the trader using an EX601*. If civil penalties for non submission of records are to be issued this should be done on a separate EX601. Form EX603 (which accompanies it to the trader) clearly shows line detail required as to ‘Attribution’ ie assessment or penalty and also a ‘reason’ and a ‘method’ code. For penalties there are also penalty type codes eg evasion of duty, failure to produce records.

The assessment should be sent to the offender with a covering letter explaining what the assessment is for and under what legislation it is issued - A specimen covering letter for a misuse case can be found at HCOS5400.

The letter should advise them of the right to a review and appeal to a Tribunal. You must advise the offender that the review request must be submitted within the statutory time limits.

If the trader asks for the assessment to be altered because he has additional information or proposes that the calculation be changed, the assessment may be amended by the issuing officer, if appropriate.

The assessment should be copied to Cumbernauld Accounting Team which will refer the case for debt management action if it is not paid within 30 days.

( * For further information on Excise Assessments and for details of how to issue an EX601, please see EAIG17000 Notifying assessments - forms, letters and schedules . For further information on issuing Civil Penalties, please see the guidance given in ECP - Excise Civil Penalties )

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Visit reports

Completed visit reports should be passed to RIS via Caseflow who will record the visit for Management Information Systems purposes. The folder should be returned to the FIS case officer.

If during the audit it can be identified that the mis-users are getting regular supplies of rebated oil from particular a Registered Dealer in Controlled Oil (RDCO), this information should be sent to RIS who will arrange an assurance visit to the RDCO to check duty of care requirements have been followed. It is vital that detections of misuse are followed up to identify the illicit supply chain.

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Appeals and reviews

Appeals against seizure and requests for review of restoration / delivery up terms and for review of assessments for arrears of duty should be dealt with by ISBC Dispute Resolution, Appeals and Reviews team.

You should be aware that evidence suggests that a high proportion of offenders will ask for a formal departmental review and if the assessment is maintained, appeal to the VAT and Duties Tribunal.

You should therefore ensure that you keep a full audit trail so that you can justify your assessment at the Tribunal.

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Assessment checklist

HCOS5600 contains a check list of common errors which has been provided by ISBC Dispute Resolution.

Officers should run through this list in relation to each case as this may reduce the scope for appeal.