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Is this a valid CT enquiry?

Opening letter never arrived

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AP ended 31 December 2017, return submitted on 15 November 2018, so the enquiry window closed one year later.

However, we have now receive follow up letters that an enquiry was opened in early November 2019, but no opening letter was received and no follow up letters were received until February 2020 (3 months later).

Is this a valid enquiry? When we phoned, we were told that opening enquiry letters were sent out, yet neither the client nor the agent received the letters?

We have never had any problems receiving HMRC mail in the past, so for this enquiry letter to go missing does seem rather odd.

Replies (6)

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By SXGuy
17th Feb 2020 08:31

I can't comment on the legality of the enquiry. But I do know that most courts in the land would on the balance of probability deem a letter served 2 days after the claimant claimed it had been sent, regardless of proof. So it's a very hard argument to use.

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By elsa87
17th Feb 2020 12:01

Thank you for your reply. But don't they have to provide proof to show it was actually sent?

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By ms998
17th Feb 2020 12:57

elsa87 wrote:

Thank you for your reply. But don't they have to provide proof to show it was actually sent?

They do need to show it was sent.

Various tribunals take different approach. Does the officer need to sign the enquiry opening? What proof do they need to show that HMRC mailing system works properly. Some tribunals take the view that a system indicator isn't enough.

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By Wanderer
17th Feb 2020 13:06

Had one once.
Deadline 31 January.
Received letter dated 29 January on 16 February.
Sent a copy of the franking dated 14 February, pointed out the 31 January deadline and invited HMRC to close the enquiry.
Never heard another thing!

Did have another, deadline 31 March, letter dated 31 March. When I queried this was told that an HMRC Inspector had personally hand delivered it on 31 March to the RO.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
17th Feb 2020 13:38

It's hard to prove a negative.

You'll be hard pushed to win your case, even though the parlous state of HMRC admin might suggest that anything they say should be regarded with scepticism.

Plus - you'll be well up on the list for next year, even if you win this year's case.

I'd raise my concerns - but, on balance, I'd probably permit the enquiry to proceed. Hard to say without you disclosing whether there's anything that you're particularly keen to conceal - which I wouldn't recommend.

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By frankfx
17th Feb 2020 14:17

Is fee protection cover in place?
Have a word with the provider.

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