Get the support and expert guidance you need during a tax enquiry
Any taxpayer – whether you are a sole trader, small limited company, multinational or an individual – can be subject to a tax enquiry by HMRC.
In recent years, HMRC has been tasked with collecting more tax from enquiries and has recently launched a new initiative to examine small business records with a view to identifying mistakes and tax payment shortfalls. The latest of these initiatives is the small business record keeping spot checks. If you have received a letter informing you of a forthcoming inspection visit, read our blog article advising what to do if you get a letter from HMRC.
HMRC’s tough new stance – taxpayers beware
Overall, we believe HMRC has adopted a much more businesslike approach to running an enquiry; and charging a penalty at the end of the enquiry is now the norm. Coupled with these trends, new legislation has significantly increased the powers available to HMRC, giving them greater access to business records, general information, premises and assets to secure evidence in support of their enquiries.
For instance, HMRC now has greater access to a wider range of financial information from the banks and the frequency with which third party information is used to support taxpayer enquiries has increased. In some cases, obtaining such data has prompted an amnesty for taxpayers who may have additional tax to declare, as was previously the case for offshore account holders, medical professionals, or, most recently, plumbers.
Are you facing a tax enquiry?
If you are faced with a tax enquiry, whether this starts with a request for accounting records or a letter suggesting a site visit, you will appreciate that this can be an extremely stressful and time consuming experience. Many people feel that HMRC take the view of “guilty until proven innocent”. It is therefore very important to understand your rights as a taxpayer, and to have access to the best possible professional advice to deal with this situation in an effective manner.
RJP has many years experience helping clients deal with tax enquiries and representing clients during negotiations. In many instances, we have been referred to such clients through their own accountants who did not have the right level of expertise to deal with such situations.
Free tax enquiry resources
To find out more listen to our podcast dispelling the myths of tax enquiries with Anne Eager, RJP’s Enquiries Manager podcast
You can also watch Anne Eager’s interviews with Sunday Times journalist and author of Taxhell.co.uk, Nick Morgan advising taxpayers why have I been picked for a tax enquiry? and what to do about a tax enquiry.
If you would like to discuss issues relating to a tax enquiry in detail, please contact Anne Eager - [email protected] or call us on 0870 22 55 220.
We provide a free initial consultation on a no obligation basis.