Understanding HMRC Security Checks for Self-Assessment Tax Returns

If you’re a self-employed individual or business operating under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), you may be familiar with the process of submitting self-assessment tax returns. But what happens when HMRC decides to conduct security checks? In this article, we’ll explore what these checks entail and how you should respond if you find yourself in this situation.

What Are HMRC Security Checks?

When you submit a self-assessment tax return that results in a tax repayment, HMRC initiates a series of security checks to ensure the validity of your claim. These checks are a standard practice to prevent fraudulent claims and maintain the integrity of the tax system.

What does it mean when HMRC are doing security checks?

If you submit a self-assessment tax return which results in a repayment of tax, HMRC undertakes a number of routine security checks to ensure that the claim is genuine.

How do I know that HMRC are doing a security check?

To begin, HMRC may write to you and ask that you confirm your identity. This will include the requirement for you to provide evidence to prove who you are and to answer some questions about the claim that has been submitted in your name. You may also need to provide documentation to support construction industry scheme and employment detail, where appropriate.

At the moment, these requests are only sent by letter but this may change at at later date.

How long do HMRC security checks take?

One common concern for individuals undergoing HMRC security checks is the time it takes to complete the process. While there are no specific timeframes mentioned, it’s essential to respond promptly when contacted. Consider these questions:

Is there a deadline for responding to an HMRC security check request?
Understanding the 30-day response window can help you avoid potential complications.

What happens if I fail to respond to HMRC’s request?
Knowing the consequences of non-compliance can motivate you to provide the necessary information within the stipulated time frame.

If you do not reply to the request from HMRC, then they will remove you from Self Assessment and not make any repayment.