SOAS University of London

Recommendations, challenges and reassessments by HMRC

Disclosure date: 23 May 2013

Reference: FOI2013/041


Please disclose the content and outcome of any recommendations, challenges and/or re-assessments by HMRC, in the last 6 years, on your tax returns. These could include:

a/potential VAT liabilities and recovery input tax, and

b/potential liabilities for direct taxes [for instance donations or giftaid received by your organisation from a trading subsidiary]


In order to answer your request, it would require a member of staff in the Finance department to go through 6 years’ files to identify relevant information in respect of corporation tax, VAT and other taxes. This would involve approximately 15-20 large lever arch files. They would also need to go through relevant email accounts to identify information held electronically. Assuming that it took the member of staff an hour to read through each file, this would take at least 15 hours even before an email search was carried out. In addition a member of staff in the Payroll section would need to search their files to identify relevant information. Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act allows public authorities to refuse requests where the cost of providing the information would exceed £450. Staff time is calculated at £25 an hour for these purposes. It is estimated that it would take approximately 25 hours to conduct a comprehensive search for this information. It would therefore cost at least 25 x £25 = £625 to answer your request. It is therefore not possible to answer your request within the acceptable limit.

If you were to make a new request, it may be possible to provide information for a shorter time period, say 2 years. Alternatively, if you were to narrow your request to a specific kind of tax, that may also allow us to deal with your request within the acceptable cost limit.