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HMRC internal manual

VAT Assessments and Error Correction

General assessment procedures: Objectives and risks on the system

The objectives of the system are to

  • correctly notify amounts of tax due or over-declared in cases where misdeclarations are discovered, and
  • correctly enter all notices of assessments in the relevant HMRC accounting records

HMRC is alive to the risk of input forms being prepared but not processed or processed incorrectly.

To minimise risk, consideration should be given to a local control system, some of the controls for consideration being

  • officers retaining all the relevant papers until copies of output documents are returned by the processing seat
  • checking for differences between information on input documents and VISION information
  • ensuring that input documents have been completed clearly and any amendments or illegible items have been initialled and marked ‘should read …’
  • figures have not been over written or painted over with liquid paper
  • being alert to the possible risks of pre and post computer input checks being carried out by the same officer. These duties should be separated. Where this is not possible, consideration should be given to an increased level of management checks.