HMRC has been reorganised with the objective of maximising its ability to close the ‘tax gap’. As part of this, taxpayers with significant wealth or complexity have been corralled into tax offices serviced by the Wealthy Team, the focus of which is to identify cases for enquiry.
Many of our private clients are serviced by these specialist tax offices and we are therefore used to dealing with them on a daily basis. Our experience is that HMRC personnel are better trained than ever before and better equipped to detect irregularities or grey areas in a taxpayer’s tax return. They also have a wealth of information from third parties, both in the UK and abroad, against which they can cross-check the accuracy of a return and identify potential omissions.
Tax enquiries are a fact of life for clients with complex affairs, both private individuals and companies. Most of these enquiries are not random, but are selected carefully by the HMRC officer because there are aspects of a submitted tax return which warrant further scrutiny and might result in an increased tax liability. Sometimes, the tone of HMRC enquiry letters can seem accusatory or threatening, and can be a source of worry to clients who regard themselves as diligent and honest in their tax affairs. At Rawlinson & Hunter we recognise the emotional stress which a tax enquiry can place on a client, as well as the disruption to personal and business life which can result. Our experience allows us to demystify HMRC correspondence and explain the issues at stake in a clear and precise manner. We represent our clients in correspondence, calls and meetings with HMRC with the objective of bringing the enquiry to a successful conclusion as soon as possible.
Sometimes, new clients come to us because irregularities have been identified in their tax affairs, either by them or by HMRC in the course of an enquiry. We are experienced in making a full disclosure to HMRC, presenting the strongest technical interpretation and negotiating with them to reduce any tax geared penalty to the statutory minimum allowed under the law.