Opening an enquiry into a claim
We may enquire into your claim (or amendment of a claim) by notifying you of our intention to do so (a ‘notice of enquiry’) no later than three years after the day on which the claim is made (that is, the day we received the claim).
We cannot give a notice of enquiry in relation to a claim (or amendment of a claim) which has already been the subject of a previous notice of enquiry.
Either during or at the beginning of an enquiry we may decide (subject to certain rules and in certain circumstances) to exercise some of our other investigatory powers such as issuing an information notice or carrying out an inspection (see RSTP2001).
Completing an enquiry
An enquiry is completed either:
- when we inform and notify you (by means of a ‘closure notice’) that the enquiry is complete and state the conclusions we have reached in the enquiry; or
- if no closure notice has been given, automatically three years after the date on which the claim is made.
Content and time limits of a closure notice
A closure notice takes effect when we issue it. A closure notice must be given no later than three years after the date on which the claim is made, and either:
- state that in our opinion no amendment of your claim is required; or
- if in our opinion the claim is insufficient or excessive, make an amendment of your claim to make good or eliminate the deficiency or excess. If the enquiry is in relation to an amendment of a claim, we can only amend it so far as the deficiency or excess is attributable to the amendment.
Where we make such an amendment, we must give effect to it by making any necessary adjustments (whether by way of an assessment (see RSTP1008), or repaying or discharging an amount of tax) within 30 days of the date we issued the closure notice. An assessment is not out of time if it is made in these circumstances.
You can appeal against a conclusion stated in, or an amendment made by, a closure notice, by giving notice of appeal to the tribunal within 30 days of the closure notice being issued. See RSTP6008 for further guidance on appeals.
In such a case, the tribunal may vary that amendment whether or not the variation is to your advantage and we must give effect to the variation in the same manner as would have applied to the amendment which was appealed against.
Applying to the tribunal for a direction to complete an enquiry
You can apply to the tribunal for a direction that we must give a closure notice within a specified period (for example, you may feel that we are taking too long to carry out the enquiry and wish it to be closed). The tribunal must give this direction unless it is satisfied that we have reasonable grounds for not giving a closure notice within that period.
Further guidance on how to apply to the tribunal for such a direction is available on the Scottish Tribunals website, or you can email the Scottish Tribunals at: firstname.lastname@example.org.