It’s a situation that most people dread – HMRC have opened an investigation into your finances.
However, it’s not the end of the world; there are a number of different things that you can do to make the process run a lot smoother.
1) Try to stay calm
You are being investigated, not prosecuted. Even if HMRC find something amiss, a custodial sentence is very unlikely.
2) Get expert advice
As soon as you receive a letter from HMRC informing you of an investigation, it is imperative that you appoint a professional tax investigation specialist like KinsellaTAX.
Our team consists of ex-Inland Revenue tax inspectors and ex-Customs and Excise officers who will handle the investigation on your behalf, meaning that this will be easier, not to mention cheaper, for you in the long run.
3) Discretion is key
Your tax affairs should be private. If you are receiving tax advice from experts, these are the only people that you should be discussing your affairs with. Your mates down the pub are not going to able to provide you with expert advice that such a delicate situation requires.
If the investigation ends in a settlement, again, keep it to yourself. Boastfulness can lead to more problems than it’s worth; you never know who’s listening and the last thing you want is your case being re-opened!
4) Honesty is the best policy
Always tell the truth. Lying to HMRC will do you no favours in the long run.
5) Never underestimate the Taxman
Never assume that the Taxman has missed, or is unaware of, anything. HMRC have an incredible amount of resources available, they can uncover any details at any time.
6) By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail
Make sure you are prepared for any meetings and any questions. KinsellaTax can help you prepare for anything you may/will be asked and help you prepare a series of answers.
7) Don't tamper with evidence
HMRC can go back as far as 20 years if they feel the situation warrants that level of scrutiny, so hiding or destroying evidence may lead to your case being treated even more seriously. If you cannot present the appropriate paperwork, they may assume that you are trying to hide something.
8) Explain the whole situation
Be thorough. Don’t leave any stones unturned. In serious cases, misleading or false statements could lead to prosecution.
Here at KinsellaTAX, we specifically deal with tax investigations; we don’t do anything else.
Act now. Call 0800 471 4546 and pass all the stress of a tax investigation over to KinsellaTax today.
For many people, the first they hear of their tax affairs being investigated is when they receive a letter from HMRC. But a HMRC tax investigation is not the end of the world.
To put your mind at rest, we have answered a number of questions about the process below.
HMRC wants to investigate my affairs. Does that mean I have done something wrong?
Not necessarily, HMRC often checks a number of tax returns at random. This is considered to be a routine enquiry.
How long after I have filed my tax return can HMRC start an enquiry?
Typically, HMRC has 12 months from the date it receives your tax return to inform you that they are starting an enquiry. Late or amended returns, or those with deliberately misleading information, could carry other deadlines.
What will the letter say?
The tax office will inform you that they are starting an enquiry into your affairs and whether they are analysing the whole of your tax return, specific areas, just one element or a claim made outside of the tax return.
Do I have to deal with this on my own?
Not at all; you have the right to professional representation, and this is where KinsellaTAX can help.
Our specialists will fully understand everything contained within the letter and will be able to explain and provide advice on the most complex areas of tax investigations in a clear and concise manner.
All you then need to do is complete the 64-8 form to confirm that we have permission to speak to HMRC about your affairs. It’s as easy as that.
How soon do I need to provide HMRC with the relevant information?
In normal cases you will be given 30 days to provide the supporting information, but you can request an extension if this is unreasonable.
Unless HMRC decides to conduct an extensive investigation into your tax affairs, this will likely be the end of the matter.
Do I have to meet with HMRC?
Most routine enquiries are conducted by post and in this instance you are not under any obligation to meet with HMRC.
However, if you do choose to meet with a HMRC official you can do so at your home, local tax office or business premises, or if we are representing you, you could meet with them at our offices.
What happens once HMRC has received all of the information?
If everything checks out, you’ll receive a ‘closure notice’ informing you that the enquiry has finished, and no changes will be applied to your tax return.
Alternatively, you may have paid too much or too little tax. If you’ve paid too much, you’ll receive a repayment. If you’ve paid too little, HMRC will require the outstanding payment within 30 days.
The safest way to deal with a letter from HMRC is to call KinsellaTax on 0800 471 4546 immediately. We can offer you a free consultation and advise you on exactly what you need.