Customs Audits - UK importers or exporters (trading with countries outside the EU) are subject to audit by HMRC in respect of their transactions. The main purpose of the audit is to target under-declarations of duty, import VAT and other irregularities. HMRC selects traders for audit on a risk-based system, part of which takes into account your revenue history. If errors are detected during an audit, it is more likely that further audits will occur in the future.
These audits may involve one or more visits to your premises and you may be asked to send specified documents to HMRC. If you hold most significant records in electronic form, interrogation of IT systems is probable.
It is likely that a normal audit will focus on just one or two specific aspects of your import/export transactions. If the company is authorised for regimes such as IPR or Customs warehousing these may also be audited.
Customs audits focus on areas that might yield under-declarations of duty; they are not designed to identify savings opportunities. The importer is legally responsible for ensuring that all customs declarations made are correct. Only 100% accuracy is acceptable. You undertake checks on your tax affairs but does anyone check the accuracy of your customs declarations and returns?
4 Eyes Ltd can provide support before and during customs audits. We will help our clients to implement any strengthening of procedures which may be required, and assist you in negotiating with HMRC where necessary.