It is an unfortunate fact of life that you may well come under enquiry by HMRC through no fault of your own or of your accountant.
HMRC now investigates businesses at random as well as for specific reasons. However you are much more likely to be subject to a full scale investigation rather than specific enquiries if you do not keep good records from which accurate and complete tax returns can be made with confidence. Penalties are now charged on innocent mistakes.
Being the subject of a tax investigation by HMRC can be a stressful and worrying experience. The cost of arrears of tax, harsh penalties and interest charges can easily mount up to a seemingly unreasonable total. We can handle enquiries into individuals, partnerships and companies tax affairs, including employer related investigations into PAYE and P11d compliance. It is important to understand that we can only help on the basis of full cooperation and disclosure to HMRC. However we will do all that we can to make sure HMRC keep to their own internal guidelines and don't over step the mark.
Many disputes involve disagreements over the correct interpretation of tax legislation and case law. We will advise you on the current state of play in these cases and put your case to HMRC, if necessary involving the assistance of a specialist in the particular issue.
First and foremost, the response to that initial letter will be crucial. It will have to be very carefully considered and as comprehensive as possible, since this first response will determine whether the initial enquiry is continued by HMRC as a full-scale investigation. If the enquiry does blossom into a fully-fledged investigation, the key factor to bear in mind is, again, that honesty is always the best policy. Where HMRC uncover evidence of wilful evasion, penalties can now be as high as 200% of unpaid tax, so anyone who may have unpaid tax would be well advised to make a prompt, full and complete disclosure.
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If you would like more information or would like to ask us a question then call us in Burnley on 01282 421951.
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