According to a report in The Times last week, HMRC has doubled the number of people it is investigating to nearly 240,000 in a year. This compares with about 119,000 in 2011/12.
This is not surprising. The Government has prioritised the pursuit of tax-avoidance, and the collection of tax following enquiries, whether through genuine mistakes on the part of the taxpayer or because of suspicions of, for example, omissions from Tax Returns.
This is certainly our experience and may be a result of HMRC’s reported ‘Big Brother’ computer system called “Connect“ which pools together information from a variety of sources including their own data, the Land Registry, electoral rolls, banks, the DVLA and many others.
The messages are clear:-
1. Keep your affairs in order.
2. Use a reputable firm of accountants such as Westbury.
3. Ensure you subscribe to the Westbury Tax Investigation Service so that if there were any additional tax following an enquiry, at least the professional fees incurred in negotiating with HMRC would be paid for.
Keith Graham – Managing Partner
Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors is an accountancy practice based in London. Westbury have been providing Accounting and Tax solutions to small and medium sized businesses since 1936. Talk to the team at Westbury on 0207 253 7272 or visit http://www.westbury.co.uk.