Basildon, Billericay & Hockley Financial Services including Accountancy, Tax & VAT, Business Support & Start-Ups, Essex
It is a little disconcerting to say the least for any company, when their financial affairs come under scrutiny by HMRC. The appearance of an ominous brown envelope from HM Revenue & Customs [HMRC] in the post can strike terror into even the bravest heart. However, try not to panic, and don’t destroy any documents as this could come across as having something to hide. Where records where not kept, you may have to obtain duplicate copies such as bank statements. The services of an experienced financial adviser, should be sought, as tax or VAT can be pretty complicated, and a professional can save you money and stress.
Tax inspectors and other HMRC employees are urged to work with members of the public in order to resolve issues and disputes. They are required to help you to understand the situation, so it is quite acceptable to ask questions until you fully understand why you are being investigated. It is a good idea to ensure that you do not miss any imposed deadlines, and if you think this is a possibility contact the Revenue to explain and rearrange. If you are obliged to pay an amount, make sure you can afford the payments, as missed agreed payments can have serious repercussions. Once the Revenue is alerted to one error in your return, it is likely to perform broader checks in other years.
Honesty is important where a discrepancy in your finances is discovered, as increased penalties are a result of failure to explain any relevant facts. If there are obvious aspects which you feel are bound to be focused on, bring it to their attention and offer supporting documents. This will usually bring a positive response and reduction in penalties. If meetings are imminent prepare carefully, gather any documents needed, and request an agenda. You should read any post meeting notes provided by the Revenue thoroughly and ask for them to be amended where needed, in case of misunderstandings.
When it comes to VAT in particular, it is a fact that since 2009/10, when £443 million was collected as a result of VAT investigations regarding large companies, the amount collected has more than trebled! This is thought to be partly due to new powers given to HMRC, who are now allowed to impose additional penalties on businesses who do not co-operate during an investigation. This highlights the wisdom of trying to be open and above board when the Revenue come knocking.
Essex based chartered accountant John S Culwick [FCA], can provide an extremely professional range of financial services for local businesses or individuals In the Basildon, Billericay and Hockley areas. These include accountancy, taxation, start ups and business support.
Call John S Culwick [FCA] on (01268) 680702