Completely random enquiries are rare and in the majority of instances HMRC open an enquiry because they believe there is something wrong with your tax affairs and as such have not paid enough tax. This can be based on information included on your tax returns or information acquired from 3rd parties. HMRC are not always right and we are often able to resolve enquiries for little or no tax due when the full facts are presented in the correct way.
This is a difficult question to answer, there are certainly competent and capable accountants out there with HMRC enquiry experience. We often find accountants who regularly refer cases to us like the comfort of introducing their client to a specialist so they know they are receiving the best possible advice. We have also seen many instances where a badly handled enquiry has resulted in a significantly worse resolution than there should have been. We often work closely together with accountants with a view to resolving their clients HMRC problems.
We are able to advise on a case by case basis however we will be able to undertake a disclosure to HMRC which is likely to be under one of their disclosure opportunities. We will ensure you undertake the most beneficial and cost effective disclosure process once we have discussed your individual circumstances.
Firstly we need to consider whether HMRC have opened your enquiry in time to ensure it is a valid enquiry. We also need to make sure HMRC are only asking for things they are entitled to. If information is reasonably required and within the relevant time constraints then we recommend providing it. Providing a great deal of information which HMRC are not allowed to ask for can sometimes lead to unnecessary questions which means more time and costs from your perspective.
Each case is different but if you are genuinely unable to pay we should be able to agree a time to pay arrangement with HMRC for you. This gives you the ability to clear the debt over an agreed period of time. Also with our support you may find you do not owe as much as you think but again this depends on your individual circumstances.
There is no legal requirement for you to attend a meeting with HMRC which is being conducted under Civil (i.e non Criminal) proceedings. As we take control of the enquiry and have all of the contact with HMRC in most instances you would not need to have any direct contact with HMRC at all, let alone a meeting. Occasionally it may be beneficial to arrange a meeting under the right circumstances and we advise on this on a case by case basis.
We always advise that you face the problem head on and make a disclosure to HMRC. We will ensure this is on the best possible terms and we will apply for you to be accepted under a HMRC Disclosure Facility which offers immunity from criminal proceedings in exchange for a full disclosure. We will undertake the entire disclosure for you in the form of a report and ensure you pay the correct amount due and no more. We will only act for those willing to make a full disclosure and will always act within the parameters of the law