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HMRC internal manual

VAT Small and Medium Enterprises Assurance Manual

Check on business activities: check on bank and building society accounts

  • the officer should ascertain at an early stage what bank and/or building society accounts are used for the business, including Euro and foreign currency accounts, and should then question the trader as to the usual procedures (who, when, where, how) for deposit, transfer and withdrawal of funds, noting EF accordingly;
  • confirm and record the name of the holder of the account, to ensure it belongs to this trader. If an account for a Company or partnership is in an individual’s name, what is their position in the business? and
  • DTR checks may also be used to verify bank accounts held by the trader.

Check that the normal business transactions appear. Otherwise question whether other accounts are extant, and whether this is the proper account for any VAT-repayments. A sample check of such bank statements, building society passbooks for example, is very useful to ensure that the details shown in the trader’s basic records agree with the amounts recorded as being deposited or withdrawn. Guidance and law regarding the keeping and production of records can be found in Compliance Handbook.