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HMRC internal manual

VAT Small and Medium Enterprises Assurance Manual

Event audit screens on EF: report

Checks - Basic checks made are recorded here.

Comments - This screen is the main body of the audit report. Detail here each check undertaken, whether a basic or credibility check, even if no error is found. This will enable the reader to fully understand the scope and extent of the event. You should:

  • be concise, to retain the reader’s interest;
  • write in plain English, avoiding jargon;
  • record information in a logical order;
  • begin with a summary of the reason for the visit, including the risk identified at sift, plus any others detected during preparation;
  • comment on how you have tackled Compliance Management issues including the advice, support and education you have provided. Has new information been secured that could be useful to the DMU or Compliance management teams? Include discussions with the trader regarding any outstanding debts on file, and the late rendering of returns. Record details of any cheques received or returns uplifted;
  • describe what checks were carried out, specifically invoice numbers/batches, dates /tax periods, and the reasons these were selected;
  • record the checks performed to establish trader credibility including the results of any credibility exercise. The actual calculations should be reproduced on a schedule captured on EF. Risk teams and future visiting officers can then examine them;
  • describe what irregularities were found, and how you dealt with them;
  • if advice has been provided to the trader about a scheme, or a ruling made, then this information should be confirmed in writing;
  • give cross-references to letters sent and replies received, assessments and references raised. These documents should all be captured to EF;
  • cross reference the report to any detailed workings or notes contained in notebooks;
  • give a complete audit trail, including any assessments and reductions;
  • record any contact or referrals to other teams including Informal Economy, LE and Excise;
  • record the checks performed to establish credibility and the results of any credibility exercise;
  • comment on the results of the annual accounts analysis, and draw conclusions on the profitability of the business;
  • draw the report to a conclusion by commenting on the trader’s business performance and factors that affect it and its current profitability. For example, if the annual accounts reveal the trader to be insolvent, record this information and refer the trader to DMU for their consideration; and
  • before suggesting matters for the next officer, consider how long is likely to pass before the next selection and explain why it cannot be addressed on the current visit.

In summary, all reports should include details of how the risks identified during the Sift process were tested and the corresponding results, conclusions on credibility and profitability, and details of support, advice, and guidance provided in relation to Targeted Education, Enabling and Leverage (TEEL) issues.