Ten reasons why you should protect yourself against professional fees in dealing with an HMRC enquiry


In a world where HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) are actively and aggressively seeking to increase their tax yield here are my top ten reasons why you should take advantage of our Tax Enquiry Fee Protection Service:


  1. HMRC has been targeted under the Government’s spending review commitments to bring in an extra £7billion a year by 2015.  In order to do this they have redeployed more than 5,000 staff to tax compliance roles, thus increasing the number of taxpayers whose tax returns are selected for enquiry.


  1. HMRC has increased their yield from enquiry compliance work.  Initially they announced they had raised £2billion more than their target in 2013.  However recent media reports indicate they brought in only £100million more in 2013.  If HMRC cannot be relied upon to get their own statistics right how can you have confidence, without expert professional advice, that when you are under enquiry they will get your tax affairs right?


  1. HMRC have recently announced changes in the way they will deal with serious fraud enquiries by removing the right for a taxpayer to deny any wrongdoing, whilst wishing to continue to cooperate with HMRC as part of their enquiries, thus providing HMRC with more flexibility to pursue higher penalties and criminal convictions.


  1. HMRC do not need to reason to commence an enquiry into a taxpayer’s return.  Indeed they select a number of cases for investigation at random each year.


  1. HMRC enquiries can be protracted, sometimes lasting a number of years, and therefore expensive in terms of professional fees.  Our experience indicates that in over 70% of cases the cost of the professional fees in dealing with the enquiry exceeding the additional tax, NIC etc payable.


  1. In light of the above Armstrong Watson offer a Tax Enquiry Fee Protection Service, whereby for an annual fee we undertake to cover the costs of any HMRC enquiry into a personal or business tax return, business accounts, VAT disputes, PAYE Compliance Reviews and HMRC status enquiries.


  1. The service pays for our professional costs in dealing with the above types of HMRC enquiry, giving you one less thing to worry about during a difficult and stressful time.


  1. If you are a limited company or partnership the service includes all directors, partners and their spouses (unless they have substantial other income)


  1. Included within the Tax Enquiry Fee Protection Service is access to telephone advice surrounding common legal issues, including Employment and Personnel issues, Health and Safety matters and Commercial Legal issues.


  1. Armstrong Watson’s Tax Enquiry Fee Protection Service – it helps you sleep at night!  Contact us today for more details.


Andrew Mitchell, Partner, Skipton