The number of tax investigations being launched by HMRC is continuing to rise, due mainly to government pressure on them to track down unpaid tax to help fill the black holes in the public purse.
In fact HMRC have targets for the number of prosecutions they must bring each year, so they’re keen not to waste their own time with frivolous investigations.
However as many as 15% of tax inspections are triggered entirely at random with no particular belief of wrong-doing on behalf of the inspected business, so being told that you’re to be inspected does not mean there’s anything to worry about. However if you become subject to HMRC inspection you are advised to take it very seriously, and consider engaging professional help. The average amount of time to conduct and conclude an inspection is 16 months, so it’s not something that’s likely to be done and dusted in a week or two.
The Financial Management Centre in Farnborough offers experienced advice to local businesses who are subject to tax inspection and investigation, supplying the support and protection you will probably need during this difficult time.
Types of Tax Investigation
Tax investigations can broadly be divided into ‘full’ or ‘aspect’ enquiries. A ‘full’ enquiry is when HMRC looks at the whole of your tax return, whereas during an ‘aspect’ enquiry the taxman will look at a specific entry on your return, or a specific episode of events.
Typically HMRC notifies affected businesses of its intention to carry out an inspection but it rarely states the reason for the inspection, so you may not find out what the inspector is looking at until he/she arrives at your premises.
FMC’s Tax Investigation Service
When you choose The Financial Management Centre as your tax investigation advisors the first thing they will do is carry out a full audit to try to find holes in your system which may have triggered an investigation. Some businesses make mistakes simply due to the complexity of tax laws; if this is the case then FMC can often negotiate a settlement with HMRC on your behalf to cut short the investigation and let you get back to work.
If a tax error is found and deemed an innocent omission, FMC will advise you to make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC without delay in order to mitigate your liability. The taxman is often very open to this and can be a lot more sympathetic than you might imagine.
Furthermore with FMC’s service you will receive:
A full audit of your bookkeeping system and tax return
A qualified expert who can liaise with HMRC on your behalf and to represent you at any face-to-face meetings you have with the taxman
An advisor at your premises on the day of the inspection to ensure you are suitably represented
Round the clock telephone support
Court attendance if necessary
A review of the personal tax affairs of directors
Advice on HMRC’s Codes of Practice and limits of powers
IR35 dispute advice
FMC can even deal with the Special Civil Investigations of Fraud Unit or the Special Civil Investigations section of HMRC in serious cases.
If you're a Farnborough or Aldershot-based business and you are hit with a tax investigation then don't delay, contact Financial Management Centre straight away.