A useful first step is to summarise the entries on the tax returns and the figures in the accounts. From the information included in the tax returns it may be possible to identify various bank or building society accounts, the purchase and sale of assets giving rise to chargeable gains or allowable losses, mortgages or other loans in respect of which interest paid is allowable for tax purposes, sources of taxable income and possibly some evidence of expenditure on such things as life assurance, retirement annuity payments, etc. This information acts as a starting point for building up a profile of income, expenditure, assets and liabilities in discussions with the client.
A spreadsheet analysis of the figures included in the accounts will be necessary when the adviser comes to discuss the economics of the business with his client. For the purpose of the first meeting with the client, the summary should be extended to include an analysis of the drawings figure, showing exactly what is included here, and details of capital introduced.
If the investigation is into the affairs of a company, a similar analysis should be made of the director’s loan account, showing how drawings are made up and the source of all the credits to the account. In addition, where the taxpayer is a director and/or shareholder, a summary should be made of all salaries, wages, fees, benefits and dividends received from the company.