New single compliance process
HMRC have published a briefing paper for tax agents to provide further details on the planned improvements to the compliance enquiry process. HMRC are launching trials of the Single Compliance Process (SCP) for enquiries across a range of different taxes. The new SCP has been designed to focus on the risks and behaviours identified in cases and throughout the life of the compliance check, irrespective of the head of duty (VAT, Income Tax, Corporation Tax and PAYE) involved.
The purpose of this trial phase is to:
- Test the use of the SCP.
- Test the mechanics of the SCP.
- Test the content and usability of a standard framework for enquiries.
- Test business and agent reaction.
- Test timings.
- Test communications.
- Identify learning requirements.
- To test the Quality Assurance process.
- Listen to feedback from agent rep bodies through the Compliance Reform Forum.
HMRC have also prepared a new framework detailing how the SCP will work. The framework involves a four step process that allows for an increase in intensity should HMRC feel that this is warranted.
The four step process has the following steps:
- The first level will provide a new approach to working cases remotely.
- The second level will look at a simplified and faster route for those cases where there are not many risks, but a face to face intervention approach is required; similar to VAT assurance or Employer Compliance visits.
- The third level will address cases showing more in depth risks and address behaviours short of evasion.
- The fourth level will tackle cases indicating evasion characteristics or that are highly complex.
The trials will run until December 2011 in Reading/Slough, Newcastle, Warrington, York, Exeter, London Euston, Southampton, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh/Dundee. The new process will be rolled out nationally from January 2012 if the trial is successful.