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Active Practice Update: Risk-led Enquiries

HMRC has the right to investigate any tax return submitted by any taxpayer. The department has considerable powers to inspect documents and to ask questions.

HMRC does not need a reason for an investigation. It selects some returns at random so an investigation does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of doing anything wrong.

The procedures for tax investigations are formal and subject to a code of conduct. They can often arise from a ‘discovery’. This includes situations where HMRC has discovered information not properly entered on your tax return. A discovery can extend the period allowed to HMRC to investigate.

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