11 Jan 2013

Increase in HMRC challenges

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In November 2012 HMRC changed their approach to opening enquiries with the roll out of business records checks.

Instead of going down the old route of opening official compliance checks, visiting the premises, questioning the staff and reviewing mountains of documents which can take a day or two per company. HMRC now phone companies and carry out a basic assessment of their business over the phone to establish whether they are considered to be a risk to the exchequer’s empty pockets. This is a very efficient and effective method of a compliance officer hitting hundreds of companies a day rather than just one or two and with a much greater yield as any enquiries opened are targeted and for a reason.

Multiply this by the number of HMRC compliance officers now employed and it really is a case of when you will get a Business Records Check as opposed to ‘if’ you get one. It is also pretty clear that for anyone engaging self-employed subcontractors, HMRC will be quick to question their employment status and most likely open a full enquiry on the business.

The owners of Marble also run a tax practice called Assured Tax Consulting and have seen a significant increase in the number of enquiries being opened already and we are only two months into the new process.

Whether it be just getting contracts drafted by Assured or having the risk completely removed by Marble, now is the time to get everything in place and watertight for when you get a phone call from our dear friend at HMRC.

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