News: May 2011
HMRC business record checks
We mentioned this new initiative in the April edition of Tax E-News, but since then HMRC have scored another own goal by starting these checks earlier than originally planned. In addition, they have commenced these checks without telling anybody beforehand! This is hardly a customer-friendly move, and HMRC concede that they should have informed all concerned of their change of plan.
Rather than consulting fully with businesses before commencing the checks in Autumn, HMRC have already started them on a “test and learn” basis. This means that no penalties will be charged if poor records are detected, although HMRC have failed to make this totally clear when notifying businesses that their records are to be checked. This seems to be another example of a high-handed and insensitive approach by HMRC, emphasising our message last month that you should urgently review your record-keeping to ensure it can withstand any new scrutiny