Tax Investigations can happen to anyone, around 7% are estimated to be random.
Even if your accounts and tax affairs are in totally up to date and correct investigations will take up your accountants time and incur fees.
What can you do to reduce your chances of being selected:
1. File your tax returns on time and pay what you owe – If you file late or at the last minute HMRC will think you are disorganised and as such there are more likely to be errors in the return
2. Declare all your income – HMRC get details of bank interest and other sources of income, sometimes they test them and match them to returns
3. Use an accountant – Unrepresented taxpayers are more likely to be looked at, mainly because many of them don’t know what they are doing
4. Trends – if your business doesn’t match the profile of similar business in the same sector or your results suddenly fluctuate it could raise concerns at HMRC, for example, if you suddenly request a VAT refund
According to the FSB
The average duration of a full investigation is circa 16 months whereas an aspect investigation can last between 3 – 6 months, but can take longer.
We are currently putting in place a solution for our clients with Taxwise better to be safe than sorry, letters will be sent to our clients before Christmas