May 22nd, 2015

Will I get investigated by HMRC?


This is the time of year at JF & Co when we invite our clients to subscribe to our Fee Protection Service. This is an optional service that, in a nutshell, pays our fees to deal with a HMRC tax enquiry.

One question we’re often asked is – ‘How do HMRC pick people to investigate?’. Here’s what we say.

We don’t know for sure – HMRC keep the exact details of selection to themselves.

Risk – the HMRC computers will pick up returns for investigation that they feel are particularly risky. This might be based on behaviour – such as being late or issues with earlier returns. They will also use benchmarking techniques to compare results of similar types of business. The businesses with the results outside of the norm are more likely to get a visit.

Industry type – HMRC will often put together a specialist team to blast through a particular industry where they feel there are rich pickings to be had. Also, certain business, particularly those dealing with cash, are always deemed to be higher risk.

Omissions – the HMRC computer is much better these days at pulling together information from a wide range of sources. If you miss something off your tax return it’s highly likely that you’ll get an enquiry.

Tip offs – if you’re dodging tax then there’s a good chance someone will tip off HMRC. The Tax Evasion hotline gets about 300 calls every day.

We’ve tried to keep our Fee Protection Service as keenly priced as we can as we’d like as many of our clients as possible to have the reassurance that, if they are ever faced with the stress of a HMRC enquiry, they have our expertise to fight their corner.

Our rates are:

£60 plus VAT for personal tax returns
£140 plus VAT for sole traders that are VAT registered
£180 plus VAT for limited companies and the personal tax returns of the directors.

For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Managing Director

Jonathan trained as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse (now PWC) in Liverpool before becoming a small business services manager for Grant Thornton in Warrington. He also spent three years as the financial controller for Brookside and Hollyoaks (not that he ever mentions it!).

Jonathan is recognised as a specialist in the entertainment industry and is often called upon to provide training courses and seminars for media professionals. He's also a bit of a technology geek and has been recognised with the accountancy industry as one of the most progressive accountants in the UK.
Outside of work Jonathan is very proud to be the Treasurer of the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace and to be on the Council of the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA)

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