HMRC’s ability to open enquiries and commence compliance checks based on either specific information in their possession or just at random means anyone could be subjected to one or more in their lifetime.
Enquiries and Compliance Checks
We are seeing an increase in HMRC using the vast amounts of information at their disposal to initiate what HMRC refer to as “intelligence led” enquiries. In reality very few enquiries are now opened at random, but it is important to note that the data HMRC holds can be inaccurate or simply require further explanation. Where this is the case, it needs to be explained to HMRC in an appropriate way.
Enquiries and compliance checks will typically focus on one specific area of a taxpayer’s affairs or be all encompassing. It is not uncommon for HMRC to start an investigation into one specific issue before moving on to look at other areas, and the taxpayer can start to feel that the investigation is snowballing.
Why A Specialist Is Needed
Almost all taxpayers who have gone or are currently going through a tax enquiry or compliance check would agree that the experience causes added stress and worry in their life. For this reason, it is vital that an advisor is instructed who specialises in this type of work and knows how to resolve cases with minimal interruption to the tax payers life and/or business.
How can we help?
HMRC has extensive powers to request and obtain information however UK tax legislation includes safeguards to protects the rights of taxpayers. We ensure that our clients know their rights and we robustly defend clients when we think their rights are being infringed.
Menzies approach to dealing with enquiries and compliance checks is to ensure their clients are provided with the best advice at all stages. There is a fine line between trying to be cooperative and work collaboratively with HMRC to seek an early resolution, whilst at the same time ensuring only reasonable and proportionate requests from HMRC are complied with.