An Essex-based firm, Haslers Chartered Accountants, is pressing for businesses to get essential specialist advice at the earliest possible opportunity if they find themselves facing a tax investigation – which could take up to 16 months or longer to resolve.
Taxpayers never know when HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) might target them, or their business, with a tax investigation.
However, at times such as these, with tax avoidance tales dominating the headlines and the 31 January paper tax return deadline just having past, the Revenue is at its most active – and it could very well have its eye on a number of local businesses.
“HMRC has been increasingly cracking down on individuals suspected of tax evasion and avoidance,” said Paul Reynolds, Tax Partner.
“While the big news is often about the ‘super-rich’ being investigated many thousands of more people every year, with far more modest incomes are subject to investigation by the Revenue.
“Anyone who is suspected of inconsistencies in their reporting of tax could find themselves under investigation, while some individuals may even be targeted at random without having made any errors.”
Businesses and individuals that are facing an HMRC enquiry need to act as soon as possible, according to Paul, as they will usually only have 30 days to respond to HMRC’s initial letter with the appropriate information. Ignoring these timeframes could result in a penalty.
He added: “Businesses should keep up to date with the latest changes to the tax legislation and the current tactics adopted by tax inspectors to tackle tax avoidance so that they do not accidentally fall foul of HMRC”.
“If businesses seek professional advice in good time, an enquiry can regularly be settled efficiently and in the most cost-effective manner possible, whilst minimising tax exposure wherever possible.”
Haslers offers extensive tax investigation services, as well as fee protection insurance which could cover the high costs associated with full tax enquiries.
For more information about how Haslers Chartered Accountants can help businesses who are facing a tax investigation please visit www.haslers.com