§ Mr. Hayhoe
The purpose of VAT control visits, which are made by appointment, is to make selective checks on the records and accounts of businesses and so to ensure that they are calculating and paying the correct amount of VAT on all of their taxable activities. For newly registered traders the visit also provides an early opportunity to resolve any practical problems which arise in the first year. During 1983–84 about 350,000 control visits were made to registered traders. Under-declarations of tax discovered as a result of these visits amounted to about £320 million. Over-declarations of tax of about £6 million were also found.
Following a recommendation made in the report of the committee on the enforcement powers of the Revenue Departments, Customs and Excise has now issued a new booklet entitled "Visits by VAT Officers" which explains in simple terms why they are made and what happens during the visit.