How Can I Force HMRC To Close An Investigation?
In the the world of tax professionals it’s no secret that HMRC don’t like to close an investigation without a ‘result’ this can sometimes mean that the cases of innocent tax-payers drag on for years and years – creating stress and expense. Here is how to close HMRC down when they use this tactic.
HMRC opens an investigation, they don’t find much of substance but don’t want to close the case out of embarrassment. They continue to ‘fish’ asking for more and more documents – often asking for documents already in their possession! The hope is that after years of stress and expense you will you will ‘confess’ and pay an unfair settlement just to bring the case to a close. This is to ‘save face’ for HMRC.
HMRC investigators are instructed not to pursue a small case just to get a result, here is the exact wording from the Enquiry Manual: “You should never press-on solely to obtain a trivial adjustment so you can say the case was not settled for nil. If you have found that the records are poor you must still be satisfied that the figures shown are wrong.”
The best practice with cases like this is to go to a First-tear Tax Tribunal and ask for a ‘closure notice’ which will force HMRC to close the enquiry. Here’s the link to the “Application to Close Enquiry” page where you can download the application form.