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HMRC Enquiry Window

I submitted a set of 2010 family partnership returns along with those of the individual partners on 23 January 2011.  During 2009/10 there had been a significant rearrangement of the family's business affairs with various transfers of assets (including shares in family companies, interests in partnerships and partnership assets).  The assets involved were significant (values in the £m's) and in the white space in each partnership and partners returns I included "See letter to follow".  The detailed letter providing details of the whole transaction was not sent until 23 March 2011.  All of the returns and the letter indicated that assets had been transferred between connected persons and that valuations would require to be agreed with HMRC.  The letter was extensive and provided full details of every aspect of the transactions involved.

Despite reminders having been sent to HMRC all we have received is an acknowledgement dated 7 July 2011 form HMRC.  I think they have overlooked the whole affair and have missed their enquiry window.  Have I missed something?  I anticipated a lengthy joust on various matters but it seems to me that the latest, debatable, date for opening an enquiry would be 30 April 2012 based on the submission of the March letter.  Any thoughts would be welcome.

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Discovery

When valuations are concerned, protecting against discovery with the longer enquiry window is difficult. You will have needed to supply details of all the professional valuations undertaken with details of those who carried out the valuations. If there are any valuations not done professionally you have lost! HMRC issued some guidance on this subject a few years back.

Of course, even with a longer enquiry window, HMRC may never get around to challenging it but you are left in limbo for at least 4 years.

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Yes

The legislation is clear on time limits.

On the facts as described, Olin will apply; the information was sufficient to allow a reasonably competent inspector to make an enquiry. So, case closed.

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