A few weeks ago I followed a recent speech by one of the leading lights in HMRC whereby I was struck by an overwhelming inconsistency in approach. In bright lights at the summit of HMRC strategic objectives it was proudly displayed that they would ‘Maximise revenues due’.
It seemed lost on the speaker that an understated PowerPoint slide two minutes later which meekly referred to ‘collecting the right amount of tax’ was so fundamentally inconsistent with what had come before.
As long as HMRC inspectors are aiming to maximise revenues, it will be the case that individual tax payers are targeted with incorrect liabilities and aggressive sanctions. Indeed the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report of HMRC conduct published late last year found significant failings in the way that HMRC conducted itself in some compliance and enquiry cases.
After threats, questions and accusations it would be easy for a layman facing an HMRC enquiry to conclude that there is no limit on the powers bearing down on them. Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth and good representation can ensure that HMRC does not overstep the mark.
Enquiries are usually triggered by ‘red flags’ which could include anything from a disgruntled neighbour to a large transaction. Good, honest, hardworking people will get selected and it could be you. In the crucial opening exchanges, we are there to make sure you don’t become another chance for an inspector to ‘maximise revenues’. Your accountant is a technical shield from the worst of HMRC excesses, a sounding board for worries and a heavy-weight fighter in your corner.
Our tax experts are on hand to advise you about protecting yourself from HMRC and are always there to spring in to defend your position with HMRC.
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