Written by Ray Coman
Once they have received your Tax Return, HMRC may respond with queries. Typically, HMRC will request that you provide evidence and explanations to support the information on your Tax Return.
HMRC are permitted to enquire into your Tax Return anytime within one year of receiving it. The period can be slightly longer where you have filed the Tax Return late. You can amend your Tax Return within twelve months of the filing deadline. Similarly, HMRC can enquire into any such amendments within twelve months of receiving them.
HMRC do not need to give any reason for making an enquiry. Although the main purpose of an enquiry is to identify mistakes on your Tax Return, your Tax Return is not necessarily inaccurate just because an enquiry has been opened.
You must keep your records until HMRC can no longer raise an enquiry. If you have trading or rental income, you must keep your records for a further four years.
HMRC also have the power to make an assessment of your tax liability based on information they discover that was not made available through your Tax Return. The time limit for a discovery assessment is four years after the tax year end. The time limit is extended to 20 years for information deliberately concealed.