These come in a wide variety of forms reflecting the various different taxes administered by HMRC.

They also come with a variety of names but the most common are:

  • Self Assessment Enquiries (Personal, business, and company)
  • Employer Compliance Inspections (including CIS and employment status)
  • VAT Assurance visits.

On 1 April 2009 new unified powers provided by Schedule 36 FA 2008 replaced all HMRC’s previous information and inspection powers. These provisions have significantly increased HMRC’s powers to obtain information and to carry out inspections of business premises, assets and record systems. Although there is little evidence of any significant abuse of these powers by HMRC, the plain fact is that they have immense resources at their disposal, and it is therefore essential that any business faced with an HMRC compliance check should take the matter seriously.

The vast majority of HMRC’s compliance checks are targeted.  That means that they have singled you out because they think there is a high chance that they will get money out of you. And usually they are right. Most businesses targeted by HMRC end up with a large extra tax bill.

We would therefore strongly recommend that any businesses or individuals subject to an HMRC compliance check should obtain appropriately qualified professional help. In most cases your regular accountant will be happy to deal with this for you, but if for any reason either you or your accountant feel that you would benefit from specialist support we are ready to assist. Our charges are affordable and we are able to offer fixed prices on most types of compliance checks. We are happy to be involved at any stage and on any basis, from strategic advice through to handling the whole issue on your behalf, or anything else in between.