Winter 2013 Newsletter
Just say no!
HMRC like to talk directly to taxpayers but it has always been HMRC policy that, where an agent has been appointed by a taxpayer, HMRC raise any questions that they may have via the agent.
However, in a worrying development HMRC increasingly appear to be trying to cut accountants out of the system. The first example is Business Records Checks. The approach here seems to be aimed at asking people questions about their records by way of a 15 minute questionnaire. If HMRC do not like the answers they state that they will pay the business a visit.
In another recent announcement, HMRC are now saying that where they have any sort of question, the initial letter will go to the taxpayer, not the accountant, who will be given seven days to tell HMRC if they wish to deal directly with them. If HMRC do not receive a reply, HMRC will then contact the agent by phone within 14 days to progress the case. If contact or progress cannot be made, then HMRC will go back to the taxpayer.
At the end of the day, tax can be complicated, which is why accountants are needed! Please, if you get any contact from HMRC, let us know immediately and we can then discuss the best course of action.