Tax Investigations

A tax investigation can be very stressful and having an accountant who understands the process can alleviate a lot of the pressure you may be facing. We specialise in resolving all kinds of tax investigations, tax enquiries and conflicts with HM Revenue and Customs.

We can deal with HMRC directly, taking the pressure off and leaving you to focus on your main priority – your business.  You will have the minimum contact necessary with HMRC while we defend your position and work towards reducing any possible tax penalty and with the aim of obtaining the best possible outcome for you.  If meetings are required with HMRC we can hold them at our offices and provide you with assistance and support throughout, so you do not feel intimidated by the process.

We have a highly qualified and experienced team, including Chartered Tax Advisors, Tax Accountants and ex-HMRC staff. Their experience includes dealing with corporate tax, personal tax and specialist investigations.

As a client of Pierce, you can also benefit from the protection offered by our Tax Investigation Service. For a relatively modest annual fee, our Tax Investigation Service ensures that the professional costs of dealing with HMRC enquiries and inspections will be met up to a limit of £100,000. Please contact us for full details.

Business and Personal

HM Revenue & Customs are becoming much more focussed on tackling tax avoidance through tax investigations.  HMRC’s initial review and selection process is largely automated and risk assessed based on the tax returns and, increasingly, third party information before being handed to a HMRC member of staff to pursue. 

At Pierce we have the experience to know what areas of your tax return will attract HMRC attention, additionally we monitor HMRC investigations and enquiries to look for evidence of trends or industry specific enquiries so we can advise you of the risk of HMRC enquiry. 

Surveillance

"Should you be unfortunate enough to be selected for an enquiry of this type taking the right advice is critical to obtaining the best outcome for you. Pierce have the staff with the specialist knowledge and experience to handle the enquiry on your behalf who can negotiate settlements on your behalf effectively."

Specialist Investigations

HM Revenue & Customs have a new information gathering system as an aide in their fight against tax avoidance and evasion. The risk of an HMRC enquiry is greater now than it has ever been.

HMRC are organising their resources into specialist teams to target specific avoidance and evasion. The highest level of risk is of course if HMRC were to decide to mount a criminal prosecution.  We have specialists that would work to negotiate this risk away.  For civil investigations we would seek to reach a financial settlement provided full disclosure is made when challenged.

This office is staffed by well qualified and experienced tax professionals. All heads of tax will be included in an investigation of this type and can involve the preparation and submission of a detailed report covering your business and taxation affairs for up to 20 years.

In recent times the HMRC have introduced a number of disclosure facilities as an incentive to disclose tax due on UK and offshore income and assets.  If you or your company have reason to make a voluntary disclosure please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

From 2014 HMRC has also had the power to issue an Accelerated Payment Notice (APN) where specific tax avoidance schemes have been used.  This is used by HM Revenue & Customs to demand payment, within 90 days of the notice being issued, before the outcome of their investigation is known.

Should you be unfortunate enough to be selected for an enquiry of this type taking the right advice is critical to obtaining the best outcome for you.  We have the staff with the specialist knowledge and experience to handle the enquiry on your behalf who can negotiate settlements on your behalf effectively.

Fee Protection

We have noticed a more aggressive attitude from HMRC in recent years and we are very concerned about this new approach especially as this will mean more and more innocent businesses and individuals are likely to be investigated. HMRC do not need a reason to investigate you and they can investigate anyone at random.

As revealed in its annual reports and accounts for 2018/19, HMRC raised £34.1 billion from tax investigations.

It was also HMRC’s seventh consecutive year of record total tax revenues, collecting a total of £627.9 billion – £22.1 billion more than the previous year.

We run a Tax Investigation Service to help protect clients against the professional costs involved in a tax investigation or enquiry. This service is backed by an insurance policy we have taken out in our own name. We must stress that dealing with a tax investigation is not included in our normal fees and the costs involved could be substantial. A tax investigation could last for several months if not years and can be extremely stressful for you. We strongly recommend you consider subscribing to our Tax Investigations Service.

Healthcheck

"Keeping up to date with the changes can be difficult and understanding what tax issues can arise be daunting."

Healthchecks

Tax legislation is often used as a political tool and is therefore evolving at an unprecedented rate.  Keeping up to date with the changes can be difficult and understanding what tax issues can arise be daunting.  Our health checks afford you the opportunity to look critically at your processes and procedures to ensure you are compliant from a tax perspective and suggest any improvements.  Even if nothing is found a health check can add to your peace of mind.

We recommend regular health checks be conducted outside of an audit or the preparation of your accounts or tax returns. This enables the check to cover areas and aspects not just related to the job in hand. We can conduct PAYE health checks, employer compliance health checks (including HMRC Construction Industry issues and employment status issues) and VAT health checks.

HMRC penalty regime was intended not to penalise taxpayers who make an innocent error, however in practice even a relatively innocuous mistake can incur a substantial penalty unless you can demonstrate taking reasonable care to avoid this.  A health check is just one such way of demonstrating care in organising and running your taxation affairs correctly.

If you would like to know more about our health checks please speak to your usual contact at Pierce.

Free, No Obligation Initial Consultation

Call us now to discuss further how we can help you or if you would like a quotation.

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