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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

Dispute whether Notice of Enquiry validly issued

Posts: 1861
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Operate Nationally but based in Aberdeen

Re: Dispute whether Notice of Enquiry validly issued

Postby wamstax » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:40 pm

You could of course issue a request under the Data Protection Act for the release of all documents and correspondence in relation to your tax liabilities but it might be more cost effective to again ask for sight of the letter allegedly issued to an agent that was not acting for you and say that if they will not release a copy then you will be making an application under the DPA in advance of requesting an Independent Review. You could always say that you are requesting an Independent Review but in order to prepare your full case you require a copy of the alleged Agent Letter so that you can make appropriate enquiries in support of your contentions as to your non-receipt.

You could also point out that until you receive your copy you are disadvantaged in preparing your grounds for review and this can only suggest to you that there is some reason for their lack of transparency in relation to this whole matter.

You could also suggest that allegedly issuing an enquiry notice to an agent that they knew was no longer acting (assuming that you can show that they knew this or no agent was shown on the completed tax return) suggests a breach of confidentiality and a lack of proper care and attention by them in relation to the alleged issue of enquiry notices.
regards and hope this helps
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Re: Dispute whether Notice of Enquiry validly issued

Postby taxplanet » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:06 pm

Leaving the issue of posting aside, and concentrating upon other procedural matters, you say in your post of 18 November that "I have now seen a copy of the letter of 11 Jan, which does look like an initial enquiry letter."

Does the letter clearly state that it is a "Notice of Enquiry" issued following the provisions of TMA 1970 Section 9A and does the issue follow the HMRC guidance at ... ual/em1551

or is it a "Request for Information" to check your tax position following the provisions of Schedule 36 FA 2008? ... ook/chapp1

As the guidance at CH21680 notes "Information and inspection powers can be used at any time provided that the information or inspection is reasonably required for the purpose of checking a tax position", but the information an documents that may be requested under these powers is limited to what is reasonably required to check the accuracy of a person's tax position.

You will see for example from the guidance at EM1551 that where an agent is acting the taxpayer should be served with a formal notice of enquiry and the factsheet but the detailed enquiries will normally be sent to the agent.

The time limit for an enquiry into a 2014/15 return would expire on 31 January 2017 if the return was filed on 31 January 2016 but would expire 12 months after the day the return was it was delivered to HMRC if filed before 31 January 2016 - see S9A(2) and HMRC Guidance at ... ual/em1506
If the return was filed before 11 January 2016 the notice (if made following Section 9A) would be out of time invalid in any event.

In any event it is unlikely that HMRC are taking an interest unless they hold information that already suggests that there is something wrong with what was disclosed on your 2014/15 return. If you know that there was something wrong with the information returned then you have a duty to disclose it, irrespective of whether HMRC have followed their own enquiry procedures correctly. Even if you believe that nothing is wrong with your return, and accepting that HMRC should only ever operate within the powers granted to them by the statutes, If (and only if) HMRC have been clear about the risk of a loss of tax that they are concerned about the pragmatic and most cost effective solution may be to address the issues that HMRC have raised rather than trying to avoid them.

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