With more than £5.3 billion in tax going missing every year, it’s no wonder HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is ramping up its enforcement activity.

In fact, more than 3,800 cases of suspected UK tax irregularities or avoidance were heard in 2017/18 alone. So, if HMRC comes knocking at your door, would you know what to do?

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Why am I being investigated?

If you’ve landed on this page, you’ve probably just received a notice of investigation through your letterbox. Don’t panic. In the majority of situations, you’ve either A) been selected at random for an investigation, or B) made an error on your tax return.

However, you may have also been made a target of an investigation if you or your business is suspected of tax avoidance.

In any scenario, it’s essential to follow due process to avoid hefty fines and punishments.

Here’s what you need to do…

Step 1: Get in touch

Obviously, contact the experts as soon as possible. We are experienced in handling investigations from beginning to end, including making representations on your behalf. It goes without saying: the quicker you contact us, the sooner your investigation will be over.

Step 2: Make your own assessment

If HMRC suspects you or your business of tax avoidance, it’s important to make your own assessment. This is why help and advice during an investigation is so important: the testimony of an expert, such as a reputable accountant at Thompson Wright, will give legs to your case.

Step 3: Make corrections (if any)

If, after you have reviewed your tax position, you find an error, you must be transparent and prompt in reporting it. Honest mistakes will not be punished as severely as those you have attempted to conceal.

Step 4: Make yourself available

HMRC investigators may want to visit your premises in person to review your documents and files. You will want to make yourself, your key team members and your records easily accessible to help move the case on quickly and efficiently.

Step 5: Make representations

If you feel that the outcome of an investigation has been unfair, you can make representations before a tax tribunal to have your case reviewed. Our specialists can appear before the Tribunal on your behalf.

Step 6: Making payments

If, at the end of the investigation, you are found to have underpaid tax, you will be expected to pay the debt in a reasonable timeframe. If you are unable to pay the debt in full, you can suggest an affordable repayment plan. The terms of repayment will be expertly negotiated by your accountant at Thompson Wright.