Frequently Asked Questions About HMRC Enquiries
How will I know if HMRC is investigating me?
If HMRC decides to perform an investigation into your tax position, you will receive a notification through the post that will inform you of the tax enquiry. It will provide all of a summary of the area they are investigating, a list of the information they require, who the assigned officer is and a deadline that a response is required by.
How long does it take for HMRC to investigate?
The HMRC investigation process is not a standard timed event. It may only take a few weeks, but it may go on for months if the information is complex or unavailable, if the issues are serious or if HMRC have several enquiries running themselves. The best way to ensure a quick resolution is to have everything in order and have the support of dedicated legal and tax professionals on your side.
What happens if HMRC investigate you?
Do not panic if you are given a letter that HMRC will be performing an enquiry. They will ask you to provide various information or documents that they need and it will also be of benefit to you if you are cooperative.
However, that does not mean that you should agree with them entirely or that you cannot challenge them. If you think they are incorrect or merely abusing their power this is where we can help.
How long does it take HMRC to process self-assessments online?
It takes between five (5) days and four (4) weeks to complete and process an online self-assessment, generally speaking. This depends on several factors, including whether security checks are required, and more. Some assessments may take longer, and this is generally only one part of the tax enquiry process.
What triggers an HMRC investigation?
Several different things could trigger an investigation or tax enquiry from HMRC. An inheritance, for example, could otherwise appear to be a large influx of cash that is unaccounted for and signals a red flag. Perhaps you forgot to include an income statement for your business, and they’ve flagged your personal tax as a result. If anything looks out of order, there may be an enquiry.
An enquiry on an individual who may have similar circumstances to yourself or works in your sector, that uncovers an irregularity may encourage HMRC to look into your affairs.
Some enquiries are random to ensure consistency and quality control for UK income tax processing, so there may be no reason at all except sheer luck of the draw.