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Time limits-HMRC opening Check of Employer records

Didn't find your answer?

Can anyone direct me to where I can check the time limit for HMRC to open investigation of employer records? 

Got one started May 19 into tax year 17-18 and wondering if 1 year limit applies.

Thanks in advance 

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RLI
By lionofludesch
19th Feb 2021 13:17

Key piece of information missing .......

When was the return filed ?

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By Wanderer
19th Feb 2021 13:23

Think it's probably a PAYE enquiry.

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By lionofludesch
19th Feb 2021 13:25

Wanderer wrote:

Think it's probably a PAYE enquiry.

You could be right.

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By Del76
19th Feb 2021 13:32

Yes, a PAYE enquiry so last filing for tax year 17-18 was end of March 18. Been looking for info on time limits for PAYE enquiries but no luck.
No doubt missing an obvious link with it!!!

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By richard thomas
19th Feb 2021 15:55

The one year enquiry limit, by which I assume you mean that in s 9A TMA, does not apply because there is no return or self-assessment within the meaning in s 9.

HMRC may make such informal enquiries as they like, and may then use Sch 36 FA 2008 to enforce replies or to carry out an inspection of the records. There is no express time limit in Sch 36, but where a document requested is more than 6 years old, a senior officer has to approve the notice.

There is an implicit time limit, at least in the opinion of at least one judge in the Tax Tribunal - me. See Mr & Mrs Hegarty v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 774 (TC) in which I agreed with a submission from Keith Gordon that that "there must be a sensible or reasonable prospect of HMRC making a valid discovery assessment" in relation to the information and the tax year concerned.

That assessment would probably be under reg 80 of the PAYE Regulations, to which, inter alia, the time limits in Part 4 TMA apply (see Reg 80(5)). So HMRC have four years to make the assessment, or 6 years if there is carelessness or 20 years if there is dishonesty.

So they have plenty of time.

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By Del76
22nd Feb 2021 17:03

Many thanks for your detailed reply.

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