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HMRC internal manual

Hydrocarbon Oils Strategy

HM Revenue & Customs
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Post detection audit and assessment: Appendix F: assessment checklist

The aim of this Checklist is to raise awareness of issues which could result in assessments being amended or withdrawn and also to reduce the number of Appeals.

Issuing Officers / Check Officers

Before issuing any EX601 and supporting schedule, please ensure that:

  • Any questioning of offenders by Special Investigation (SI) Officers is of the required standard, and that the SLA between SI/RIS /Local Compliance has been followed.
  • You have a clear understanding of both the 1 year and the 4 year rules, and that these have been correctly followed.
  • You have a clear understanding of the interpretation of private (non-commercial vehicles), and that any private vehicles have been treated correctly.
  • You have ascertained or agreed the correct mpgs with the trader.
  • You have used the correct duty rates for any decanting assessments (ie you have not deducted any rebate applicable).
  • You have not included any additional non-tested vehicles in the calculations, which have no evidential link (basket of evidence).
  • You have correctly established who owns the vehicle, or to whom the vehicle is registered.
  • That vehicles not registered with the company which have no evidential link have not been included.
  • You have established who fuels and maintains the vehicle.
  • The right person or the correct legal entity has been assessed.
  • There is a clear and demonstrable audit trail behind the issue of the EX601, the supporting schedules, and the underlying calculations, and these are supported by available evidence.
  • The information provided to the trader in support of the EX601 including any working documents or spreadsheets are fully auditable and a clear explanation of any calculations has been provided.
  • The Explanatory Letter accompanying the EX601 and supporting schedules identifies correctly the full legal bases behind the decision to issue the assessment (as there may be more than one involved).
  • Any assessment issued does not include any pennies.
  • Where no records have been produced by the trader, that the Guidance on calculating and issuing excise assessments has been followed.
  • You have checked with RFTU that they have a sample of the detected illegitimate fuel in storage, or that it has been analysed by LGC, before issuing an assessment, or the assessment may be subject to a successful appeal.
  • Your Check Officer responsibilities have been fully carried out.

Following the issue of an EX601 and supporting schedule, can you also please ensure that:

  • Where a decision has been referred back to the Issuing Officer for Local reconsideration, that you are aware that as this takes place within the Appeals and Review Team’s 45 day time limit, that any delay in carrying out the reconsideration, or a failure to complete this, will have an impact on HMRC’s case and on the Appeals process, as the Issuing Officers original decision will be ‘deemed’ to have been upheld after 45 Days.
  • Where the Offender supplies any additional information, such as fuel invoices, that it is the issuing officers responsibility and not the Appeals and Review Team’s responsibility to consider and to deal with this.

Note: If you receive additional information or a request for an appeal and / or review you must contact the Appeals and Reviews Team immediately.

If the additional information supplied fully resolves the dispute, you should inform the Appeals and Reviews Team as to the reasons why and your recommendations.

If the dispute is not fully resolved you should inform NERAT as to the reason why and your recommendations.