TaxPersonal TaxThe opening of an investigation or enquiry

The opening of an investigation or enquiry

Pre self-assessment (excluding Inland Revenue Special Compliance Office) The Inland Revenue would have written to the agent issuing Code of Practice 2 (now revoked) and leaflet IR72. They must also state a reason for the investigation.

Self-assessment (excluding Inland Revenue Special Compliance Office)

The Inland Revenue must issue:

Code of Practice 11 for income tax enquiries

Code of Practice 14 for corporation tax enquires

The letter opening the enquiry should state that an enquiry is being commenced, and state the statutory authority under which the action is taken. The relevant statutes are: –

S.9A TMA 1970 – income tax returns

S.12AC TMA 1970 – partnership returns

Schedule 1A paragraph 5 TMA 1970 – enquiry into a claim outside a Return

Schedule 18 Paragraph 24 FA 1998 – corporation tax returns

Note that, unless a discovery is made, only one enquiry may be launched into a self-assessment return. The enquiry must be launched within a certain period of time, namely:

  • Twelve months from the normal due date, if submitted on time;
  • The anniversary of the next quarter day after a return is submitted, if it is late. Quarter days are 31 January, 30 April, 31 July, and 31 October;
  • Where an amendment is made and the enquiry is into an amended item, the anniversary of the next quarter day after the amendment is made.

Inland Revenue Special Compliance Office Investigations

For information on investigations by Inland Revenue Special Compliance Office, please click here.

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