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Our Training Seminar in Sheffield yesterday 17th April  was delivered by Steve Knowles of Knowles Warwick our Accountancy Partner for South Yorkshire

THIS WAS A FIRST FOR CONNECT YORKSHIRE

Not only did all those that had registered turn up but we had 2 extra. And this for a subject that I had told Steve was boring and nobody would turn up!!!

The Approach

Instead of ploughing through all the taxes that he could have done Steve started with

HMRC believes nobody pays the right amount of tax

What sort of tax are we talking about

We are talking about all taxes, from Income Tax, VAT, CGT, Inheritance Tax, Corporation Tax, PAYE etc., because they are all dealt with on a self assessment basis.

Who is responsible for paying the right amount of tax

You are responsible for calculating your tax, even if you have some else doing it for you. Although having a suitable qualified person doing the calculation could be a defence against some of the penalties

Why is it Important

Because even if you do not end up in jail,  the time and stress that comes from an enquiry by HMRC is a serious distraction from your business, and the cost of that distraction and the lost opportunities could be significant even if ultimately there is nothing to pay.

How will you know there is a problem

Usually enquiries start with a letter from HMRC,  but in serious cases (or better described as cases where HMRC suspect there is serious loss of tax) it could be a dawn raid. Very few of us will ever experience that.

Correspondence from HMRC to worry about or not to worry about

All correspondence from HMRC should b taken seriously and there is none that you should ignore. Even if they are sending you a refund!

Visits from HMRC

Visits from HMRC are usually arranged in advance, but in the exceptional situation when they simply turn up, with or without authority from a Tribunal or a Senior officer, they can be turned away with a reasonable excuse, e.g. the business owner is not there or they would wish to have there tax advisor or accountant present. Even if they are admitted they are not allowed to search, so make sure that anything you don’t want them to see is not in vision. Neither will they want to use your computers, they may ask for copies of data but they will always allow you to get it for them.

If the police are in attendance or they have an order signed by a judge you need immediate professional advice.  

The taxpayer is guilty until proven innocent

Nowhere in the boundless amount of legislation does it say that the taxpayer is guilty until they are proven innocent, what it says is that the Inspector Of Taxes Must satisfy themselves that the taxes reported as due are correct.    

How do they do this:

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

 

Nick Butler 18/04/18