Business Records Check
Important Message from Tuchbands- Leading North London Accountants
This starts with a letter from HMRC writing to say that they intend to make a phone call to ask some questions concerning the record keeping. At the end of the call they then decide whether the answers given show that the records are adequate. If they have any concerns then they will arrange a visit.
They follow a risk based approach using a set of pre-prepared questions.
I understand that sometimes HMRC wants so speak to the taxpayer but we have had a recent instance where they were perfectly happy for us to speak to them and answer their questions. In all cases, I would suggest at least a conference call so that we are present during the call. We would certainly want to be there during any follow-up visit.
The questions asked are those such as the number of monthly transactions; how frequently the records of income and expenditure records are updated, for example, daily, weekly etc; how much cash is taken or used for expenses; whether personal records are kept separate from business records.
If you receive a Business Records Check notice call us immediately.
Written by Philip Woolfson
Philip is a Senior Partner of Tuchbands, the leading firm of North London accountants based in Golders Green. Philip has handled accounts and taxation for a wide range of industries, from property investment through to the fashion industry and in his 35 years has helped hundreds of businesses to thrive in both rising and falling markets.
Hi Luke, It is good to hear of good cases to balance it out thats for sure and I am ralely pleased you got your refund sorted so easily. It is certainly very unusual for HMRC to agree to issue a tax refund based on a telephone call and guarantee to issue it within 10 days as well. Wow. Sounds almost too good to be true. Lucky you I am certainly not saying this happens 100% of the time. And I am certainly not saying the all HMRC are inefficient or anything other than polite and professional. They certainly do exist it would be great if it was like this most of the time. I just hear of too many cases and see to many cases of my own where it is not done properly.The problem is also largely not with HMRC staff who answer phones they are often doing the best in difficult circumstances.The problem is the management of HMRC as they are the ones that need to put in place efficient systems and practices. I was with a new client only a few weeks ago and as I am not yet her registered agent we called HMRC three times together so she could authorise the staff at HMRC to speak to me during the call. I pre-warned her about the recorded message and when HMRC hang up at the end of each message her jaw still dropped to the floor it pure amazement. Whats more all we wanted from HMRC for a UTR (Unique tax payers reference) so she can file a tax return this year. The person at HMRC confirmed this would be issued. Any sign of the UTR? Surprise surprise no. The client called me wondering what she should do now and she is coming to see me to do the whole process again. Efficient? That’s two attempts by us to get the UTR and two differnent peoples time at HMRC on the phone just to get a simple reference number. Lets hope we get the UTR on a second attempt. I would not be suprised if it takes a third attempt. A formal complaint usefully spurs HMRC to take the issue seriously failing that (and sometimes a request for costs). I think part of the point I was trying to make was is it right for a Government depart to put someone through a 1 minute plus press button senario to then simply hang up and say call back another time. It is about as tackful and Dave Hartnett has been with recent statements and reported widely in the press over the PAYE coding fiasco.With regard to the tax refund issue. I have started to see client’s tax refunds come through quicker again now. But it was widely reported in the press and commented by a number of large accountancy firms recently that HMRC were sitting on refunds for as long as possible often months and months compared to the previous couple of weeks or less if returns are filed online. So maybe HMRC are starting to issue tax refunds quicker again now. Thanks for the post it is good to hear some good news about HMRC behaviour amoung all the bad.