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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John manages a wide portfolio of owner managed businesses and oversees the smooth operation of the firm’s payroll department.

After obtaining his degree in mathematics from the University of Liverpool, John joined Jonathan Ford & Co in 2004 and qualified as a chartered accountant four years later. John likes to keep abreast of developments in tax and accounting and is responsible for the mentoring of junior staff.

Outside of work, John enjoys keeping fit and is a Liverpool FC season ticket holder.

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