HMRC have powers to assist them in the collection and administration of VAT. They can assess if:

(1)a VAT return has not been submitted; or

(2)if they consider that a return is incomplete or incorrect.

For historical reasons, the former Customs & Excise and their employees have significant powers. An officer, as a common constable, has greater powers than a policeman. Some powers are general to HMRC and are in CEMA 1979; some are specific to VAT and appear in VATA 1994.

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