HMRC Tax Investigation

HMRC Investigations: An 'Unnecessary' Expense?


There’s little doubt that an urgency to replace depleted funds as a result of COVID-19 expenditure will increase pressure upon the government to recoup any underpaid tax. Over the past 12 months alone, we have seen a significant increase in the number of individuals and businesses being faced with in-depth enquiries into their tax affairs, amounting to significant costs to defend their cases and seek a fair and pragmatic outcome.

Not only can tax investigations be a costly process, they’re incredibly time consuming and can be very stressful too, often taking many months to conclude. In order to ensure that our clients are protected against the expenses of an investigation, we offer the opportunity to enrol with our HMRC Investigation Service. This means that should you be subject to an enquiry, as a member of our HMRC Investigation Service, the costs of having Armstrong Watson’s tax experts defend and negotiate your position with HMRC are covered, resulting in no fee charge to you - potentially saving you thousands of pounds.

Without appropriate level of service protection in place it’s important to recognise that from the moment the dreaded enquiry letter arrives, professional fees are likely to be incurred as your advisers will be required to help the tax inspector understand your business records and explain any technical adjustments, however, if you choose our service we will:

  • Check HMRC is entitled to investigate the tax return selected and the enquiry window is still open
  • Ensure the tax inspector only asks for information and documents relevant to the enquiry year
  • Respond to all telephone calls, emails, letters, compliance fact sheets and notices issued by HMRC
  • Provide supporting information from our files relating to when your accounts were drawn up
  • Prepare for and attend face to face meetings with the inspector
  • Handle any settlement negotiations all the way through to conclusion

Of course those are just the fees for responding to HMRC. We will also be talking to you regularly, answering your questions and keeping you informed of our discussions with the tax inspector. It is not uncommon for tax inspectors to change during an enquiry, which ‘without protection’ can lead to additional fees in assisting the new inspector to get up to speed. Taking this all into consideration, it’s easy to see how fees can escalate rapidly, so subscribing to our HMRC Investigation Service is a logical and cost effective measure to take.

As an added benefit of subscribing to our HMRC investigations service, you’ll also have access to a team of qualified solicitors for employment law, health and safety matters and commercial issues.

We’ll be contacting all clients soon with further information about the service, however, if you’d like to talk about the features and benefits of the protection then please contact your Armstrong Watson adviser or contact email

For full details and to download the latest HMRC Investigation Service Brochure

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