The window of opportunity for HMRC to investigate

The “Enquiry Window”

HMRC have a set period of time to open an enquiry into your tax return. This is often referred to as the “enquiry window” and varies according to the tax in question. The most relevant enquiry for taxpayers though is into self-assessment, which includes income tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax. The “enquiry window” for self-assessment is 12 months from the date of filing.

When does the countdown begin?

Using an example, 13/14 tax returns need to be filed sometime between 6 April 2014 and 31 January 2015. Say then your tax return was filed on 30 September 2014, HMRC then has until 30 September 2015 to open an enquiry. All this said though, should HMRC have reason to suspect anything unusual outside of the enquiry window they are still able to open an investigation following their “discovery”.

So are you ever really off HMRC’s radar?

Generally, after the 12 month point has passed you won’t fall into the danger of being randomly selected for an enquiry, only if something in future years is uncovered to raise suspicion into previous returns. Figurit take care to ensure all our clients report accurate figures in their tax returns in case of an enquiry. We also offer all clients insurance against the costs involved with an investigation.