June 17, 2020


Whether you are among the winners or the losers, there is no doubt that the government has provided unprecedented support to businesses as part of its Covid-19 package. However, this support will need to be funded and tax increases and changes to tax reliefs are inevitable.

Further, whilst tax enquiries are generally currently on hold, it has to be a given that the frequency and tenacity of these will increase once HMRC staff return to their day jobs. We have also seen the worrying trend of HMRC alleging deliberate behaviour when tax errors are found, increasing the penalty rates chargeable and placing further financial burden on businesses. In some cases, this can also result in the threat of being ‘named and shamed’ as a deliberate defaulter.

Dealing with even the most straightforward enquiry can be time consuming and complex, easily resulting in a few thousand pounds of additional accountancy fees, regardless of whether or not additional tax is found to be due. The work often requires senior tax teams to be involved to help navigate through the enquiry process and achieve the best outcome for your business. There does not need to be an error before HMRC carry out a check – they have the power to select your return for review on a random basis.

In order to help reduce cost for our clients, we are pleased to offer our Tax Investigation Service which, for a small annual subscription fee, enables us to deal with HMRC’s enquiry on your behalf without the need for you to worry about incurring additional accountancy fees, helping to give you peace of mind that you do not have to ‘settle’ with HMRC simply to keep your professional fees down.

Our Tax Investigation Service also covers our costs for helping on a PAYE or VAT records check, as well as on any enquiry into your personal or business tax returns and, even when you are looking to reduce your overheads, is one cost that may prove to be a false economy. If you do not already subscribe to this valuable service and would like further information, please speak with your usual AG contact.


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