Take Care! – Sending documents to HM Revenue & Customs

September 28th, 2011

A word of warning for those who are or may be involved in enquiries with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) especially if there is the need for exchange of documentation.  HMRC has recently announced that it is now implementing its new policy of scanning the post it receives from taxpayers and agents in respect of tax enquiries. When dealing with enquiries under this new postal regime, HMRC should now be asking for future correspondence to be sent to a central postal address.

This follows on from the policy of removing enquiry work from local offices – taxpayers’ affairs are now commonly dealt with by offices in distant regions, or by more than one office depending on the nature of work involved. HMRC will now scan documents it receives, so that they can be accessed electronically, from any tax office.

It is hoped that this should allow correspondence to be dealt with more efficiently, with less opportunity for post to go astray.

However, it is now HMRC’s stated policy to securely DESTROY original items of post which have been scanned, within 40 days of receipt, except for certain documents such as:

  • Passports
  • Forms P60
  • Certificates of Birth / Death / Marriage
  • Payslips

HMRC will also retain original letters of offer and acceptance, where they and the taxpayer come to a formal agreement over additional amounts due, etc.
So if it isn’t on that (short!) list, and you want it to be returned, then you will need ensure that you  make that clear to the HM Inspector, ideally this will be when sending the documentation to them.