Tax enquiries – section 9A taxes management act 1970

HMRC is entitled to enquire into any personal tax return and this will be initiated by a written notice, quoting Section 9A.

Returns may be selected at random, including those in which everything appears to be in order, but most enquiries are selected according to risk, on the basis that there is significant tax at risk, or a suspicion that something is wrong.

HMRC does not tell you whether a particular enquiry was selected on risk or randomly, but may identify particular areas on which the enquiry will focus.

These notices must be issued within 12 months of the filing date of the return under query. 

This may indicate a fairly routine enquiry, which can be resolved by the production of supporting records.

However, it could also mark the start of more serious investigations under the COP 8 or COP 9 procedures, if HMRC suspects there is evidence of tax avoidance or tax fraud. 

Even if a 9A technical challenge does not lead to a COP 8 or COP 9 investigation, resolving a dispute with HMRC can still be time-consuming and cause significant disruption to a business or to your personal life.

By working with the Taxation-Investigation team, you will have access to practical, expert help and advice, focused on supporting you through the entire process and resolving the issue.