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Repayment security check self assessment

Has anyone received this new style enquiry letter about previous years repayments

I have recived a copy of a letter from HMRC that has been sent to a client. This consists of a repayment questionaire asking the client how their tax return was filed. Was this online using HMRC software by giving their login details to another person to do it, asking for the name and address of the person. Were they satified that the figures were accurate, were they asked for records, did they sign the return, were they charged a % or flat fee etc, who the payment went to, relationship etc etc. It then goes on to ask for ID to be sent along with all payment deduction statements and receipts and contractors worked for. The worst part is that HMRC have removed the credit and put the client in debt with them until they send back all the relevent proof etc and they have done this for 3 tax years. We as the agent have not been asked to respond to the enquirey but the client. What happend to the old way of doing enquireys? The clients repayments were not large about £4000 over the 3 years. Have any others received letters like this from HMRC? I have never seen this type of enquirey letter before, why cut us out? They know we did the return so I don't see the reason for this. Maybe they are trying to catch the people who are not registered with HMRC as an agent, the type who go around offering big refunds with no basis in truth of the figures entered or who also don't declare they are in business and just pocket the high fees for false repayment claims. Any answers?

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25th Apr 2018 08:35

Is the client a CIS subcontractor? I wonder if it is a letter only directed to subbies.
Does the letter say it is opening an enquiry , and if so, does it state the legislation the Inspector is using?

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to Rebecca Cave
25th Apr 2018 09:25

Hello, yes he is a CIS subbie. I think it could be as you say, only directed at subbies who receive a refund. The letter makes no mention of an enquiry or the normal section 9a legislation. It does however ask for all the usuel evidence of expenditure and income statements. It also has the in-depth questionnaire about how the returns were filed by whom etc and requesting ID.
It only mentions Repayment Security Check of Self Assessment tax returns- years ended 15,16 and 17.
and signed by Compliance officer. I have checked with HMRC to make sure this is genuine and they confirm it is.

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By gordo
25th Apr 2018 10:03

Well that’s one way to get around the protections for taxpayers in the Taxes Act. I presume they are technically out of time to raise an enquiry into 2016 return in the basis that it was filed before the deadline of 31 January 2017? The questions also appear to doubt the integrity of the Agent plus ask questions that are none of HMRC’s business. I wonder what the Professional Institutes might make of this.

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26th Apr 2018 20:49

Complain to Jim Harra, HMRC's number 2, asking him to confirm the legislation underpinning the approach and that this style of approach is sanctioned by departmental policy department.

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