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HMRC enquiry

Should I apply to FTT to close the enquiry

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The timeline is as follows;

8 April 2021 - 2021 Tax Return submitted to HMRC

14 April 2021 - opening enquiry letter asking for a reply by 14 May 2021

23 April 2021 - reply to opening enquiry letter

30 July 2021 - HMRC replied to my 23 April letter and asked for a reply by 30 August 2021. They did apologise for the delay.

27 August 2021 - I replied to their letter dated 30 July and I asked for a reply within 30 days

24 November 2021 - no reply yet received

Other points to note.  The enquiry officer is clearly inexperienced and doesn't know about this particular type of employee. He quoted a tax case which has absolutely no relevence to this case and has made arguments that don't stand up against HMRC's own manuals for this type pf taxpayer.  I told him that his proposals were not valid and that the case be either submitted to Technical Division (if it still exists) or to be looked at by a more senior officer.  I've had no response since my letter of 27 August.

Any ideas on what to do next?  The client hasn't approached me as to the delay but I've got better thigs to do.  Would an application to the FTT solve it?

 

Replies (15)

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
24th Nov 2021 15:43

In my most recent experience with any form of enquiry (ours was however a fair few years ago now and re a company and pref dividends) HMRC's response times look decent. I suspect your most recent point has them scurrying for help, hence the delay.

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By SteveHa
24th Nov 2021 16:05

FTT would probably not even look at it. Have you tried a phone call?

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By Wanderer
24th Nov 2021 16:13

I'd just put the file away and await the next grovelling apology.

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By Paul Crowley
24th Nov 2021 16:16

This really depends upon whether HMRC are holding back a tax refund

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
RLI
By lionofludesch
24th Nov 2021 18:11

Paul Crowley wrote:

This really depends upon whether HMRC are holding back a tax refund

Yes - do HMRC owe the taxpayer money or do HMRC claim that the taxpayer owes them money ?

In other words - do you need this settled or do you just want your desk clearing ?

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By More unearned luck
24th Nov 2021 16:56

I think its a bit premature especially as HMCTS is more gummed up than HMRC. You are bound to get a reply from HMRC before the FTT issues any directions. Content yourself, for the time being, with another letter to HMRC saying that you will apply to the tribunal if a reply isn't forthcoming by x date. But if your side is in the wrong in any way at all, is it wise to rub up HMRC the wrong way?

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
24th Nov 2021 17:17

Is it feasible to write along the lines that if you don't receive anything further on the matter by 31st December then you'll consider the matter closed?

Somebody more experienced / senior must surely have to review the case at some point in the future, and might just be tempted to throw in the towel on such a poorly executed job.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By More unearned luck
24th Nov 2021 22:00

No it's not feasible for the taxpayer to close the enquiry; an enquiry is only closed when HMRC issue a closure notice. In theory an enquiry could remain open until doomsday simply by HMRC failing to issue this document. This is why the taxpayer can ask the tribunal to order HMRC to close it, this right stops taxpayers suffering unduly from HMRC's inaction or deliberate dragging of feet.

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By gillybean04
24th Nov 2021 17:43

They managed to process the return etc and have an enquiry opened with only 2 working days between submission and the letter being sent.

I've never known HMRC to be so quick to act in any matter.

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Replying to gillybean04:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
24th Nov 2021 18:29

Might that have been triggered because the new style CT600 tax returns (with Coronavirus support reporting fields) were introduced on 6th April 2021 (and OP filed on 8th April, I assume using an "old" 2021 return (ie outdated by all of 2 days)?

Footnote:
In case anyone's client company did receive such support payments there's a concurrent thread entitled CT600 COVID-19 Boxes 471-474 - Effective Date? at https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/ct600-covid-19-boxes-471-474... in which I've posted a copy and paste portion of HMRC's latest help email regarding amended new-style CT600s replacing old-style CT600s if the latter were filed 6th April 2021 onwards.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
RLI
By lionofludesch
24th Nov 2021 18:32

I'msorryIhaven'taclue wrote:

Might that have been triggered because the new style CT600 tax returns (with Coronavirus support reporting fields) were introduced on 6th April 2021 (and OP filed on 8th April, I assume using an "old" 2021 return (ie outdated by all of 2 days)?

Well, the OP talks about an "employee" so I think we're talking apples and pears here.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
24th Nov 2021 23:52

Ooops, my bad. I had the hots on the company aspect from a concurrent thread.

The filing in April threw me. I assumed (wrongly) that this related to a company. I shall of course go stand in the corner and face the wall!

I've missed your lock-down water-cooler County Days series, Lion; and know you'll be delighted to know that Lancashire Day is imminent.

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By mbee1
25th Nov 2021 07:13

Thank you all for the responses. I'll send an email (this, unusually, is an enquiry being dealt with that way) and ask for a response by 31 December 2021. HMRC owe the client money based on the Return. It's a PD1 case for a Minister of Religion hence some special rules. I just want to get it off my desk more than anything. No doubt once it is closed, there will be a long wait for the refund!

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accountant in london
By Accountant in London
25th Nov 2021 09:44

I had an inquiry into rental income for a client that started in June 2019. The HMRC officer was inexperienced and fishing for replies outside the rental income. In February 2020, I sent in a formal complaint..... which in my opinion was swept under the carpet.... but it helped in a way that this HMRC officer backed off... inquiry closed in April 2020. A bit of delay due to COVID issuing the closure notice. In my view, a reasonably made complaint always speeds things up

p.s. It was all dealt via email after the initial inquiry letter in June 2019. Its usual now to use email for certain departments especially disclosures and inquiry. I deal with WDF mainly via emails too.

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By richard thomas
26th Nov 2021 14:34

Contrary to what SteveHa says, the FTT (through the registrar or a technical caseworker, or even a judge) will look at any application made, and will inform HMRC and then issue directions in due course, but when that might be is not within my knowledge to even guess. There must be a standard set of directions for applications to close an enquiry (there is a separate form from that for appeals to be used). It may be that on receipt of notification of the application, HMRC will review the case and either give in or extract digit and reply. No harm in trying.

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