Key tax dates and deadlines for 2018/19
It is an inevitable reality that, for anyone earning a livin...
By Jonathan London on 8th August 2014
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a name that is all too familiar with freelancers and contractors across the UK.
Hopefully, most independent professionals will only ever have to deal with the HMRC for the right reasons (like those above). However, as the tax body can investigate you at random, there is a chance you could come into contact with HMRC for another reason.
But just what are HMRC’s powers and what can it actually do in terms of an investigation?
If the tax office do decide to investigate you, it should make it clear why it is doing this and what aspect of your tax it is assessing.
For example, if HMRC get in touch with you about your VAT records, this is all it should look into.
According to its site: We will only review the records relating to the tax, duty or tax credit we have told you we will be looking at. If we intend to review a number of taxes, duties or tax credits at the same time we will tell you in advance, and we will give you the opportunity to decline.…
However, if some information comes up that in this aspect of the investigation that relates to other tax issues, the HMRC officer in charge will pass it on to the relevant arm of the organisation.
In short, HMRC officers should always make it clear before hand which aspect of your tax they are looking into. If during the course of a review of your VAT records, for example, an officers requests to see your income tax records but no prior warning has been issued, you can refuse.
If the HMRC suspects that someone is committing fraud, intended or otherwise, it can start an investigation under the Code of Practice 9 (COP9) investigation of fraud procedure.
Once this has been issued, the party who is being investigated is invited to disclose completely any intended or unintended attempts to hinder to tax system.
If the tax body believes that the person in question has not properly disclosed sufficient information to account for any tax discrepancies, then it can proceed with a criminal investigation.
Some people are intent on breaking the law and not paying tax, and whatever your thoughts on the HMRC may be, it’s the body’s job to stop this from happening.
Only those who actively involve themselves in breaking the law need to worry about HMRC’s criminal investigation capabilities, but it’s worth mentioning what the body can do just to show the true extent of its powers.
According to its website, the HMRC can:
At the end of the day HMRC is an official body and an extension of the UK government, and as such it has to abide by certain rules and regulations.
HMRC’s Code of Practice outlines what they are entitled to do and how its agents should conduct themselves.
If you do find yourself involved with HMRC or any of its officers then it could be wise to seek advice from your accountant.
Take a look at our recent blogs below.
GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation, comes into effect on 25th May and is the bigges...
Published: 24th May 2018
As a business owner, your time is way too precious to spend hours dealing with HMRC or Companies Hou...
Published: 14th May 2018
“Never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time” Charles Dicken...
Published: 11th May 2018
Congratulations! The very fact you clicked this far shows you are considering employing staff, and t...
Published: 17th April 2018
It is out with the old and in with the new when it comes to tax relief on childcare costs from April...
Published: 9th April 2018
The Boox accounting app has always been at the forefront of helping our clients understand their com...
Published: 26th March 2018
Spring has officially sprung and the start of the 2018/19 tax year is just around the corner –...
Published: 23rd March 2018
If your business is employing staff, you should already have a workplace pension in place, under the...
Published: 23rd March 2018
At this time of the year we are used to seeing the Chancellor holding aloft the red box ahead of the...
Published: 15th March 2018
A dispute has erupted between the BBC and 170 of its presenters over their tax arrangements and thei...
Published: 12th March 2018
The rush for taxpayers to file their 2016-17 self-assessment tax return is over for another year, an...
Published: 27th February 2018
If you need a little help to find the right accountancy service, don’t worry.
Get in touch with our friendly team for a FREE service consultation.
Thousands of contractors, freelancers and locums turn to Boox for help and advice with their limited company accounting. They love our personal service and app.
Specialist accounting for sole traders and the self employed, Boox combines easy online tools with expert support to take away the stress of handling your accounts.
Our combination of market-leading accounting software and expert personal advice gives you greater financial control and more time to grow your business.