HMRC compliance checks – explanatory podcast
A new podcast has been launched by HMRC on the new compliance checks (also known as enquiries, visits and inspections) regime. The podcast which last for approximately eight minutes discusses the new legal framework for compliance checks which will take effect from 1 April 2009.
There are a significant number of changes which have been designed to ensure a more standardised to HMRC inspections across both direct and indirect taxes. These new rules cover Corporation Tax, Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, PAYE, VAT and the Construction Industry Scheme.
The legislation makes a number of important changes to the way HMRC must carry out compliance checks including:
– The introduction of a new four-year time limit for assessments and claims – this is a reduction from six years for Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Corporation Tax and an increase from three years for VAT
– A reduction in extended assessment time limits
– Streamlining the process for closing Corporation Tax assessments
– A new statutory ban on inspecting purely private dwellings without consent
– A statutory requirement for HMRC to give at least seven days notice of a visit unless an unannounced visit is necessary or a shorter notice period is agreed
– From 1 April 2009 unannounced visits must be approved in advance by a specially trained HMRC officer
– There is a statutory requirement on HMRC to act reasonably