The rise of HMRC investigations: Navigating the storm

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The Covid-19 pandemic for most is a distant memory and despite all seeming to have returned to normality, the impact on the global economy is taking longer to recover.  

As a result of providing Covid relief to businesses, there has been a significant increase in HMRC investigations that has intensified further throughout 2023.

Why the increase in investigations?

In the year 2022 alone, HMRC opened 265,000 investigations into taxpayers and has increased its compliance activity in 2023 to recoup the funds expended in the pandemic with the influence of HMRC's 'Connect'.

Ranging from standard VAT or PAYE assessments to comprehensive evaluations of individual financial matters, HMRC's authority to scrutinise business records, carry out unscheduled site visits, and investigate matters going back up to twenty years has become more pronounced.

The Risk and Stress of An Investigation

Being the focal point of a tax inquiry can bring about disruption, invasiveness, stress, and eventually financial strain.  Even if you have done nothing wrong, many tax enquiries are conducted at random.

A comprehensive examination can entail prolonged exchanges with HMRC, some spanning more than two years so if you receive any correspondence from HMRC regarding an investigation into your tax affairs or a compliance visit it is important that you speak with your adviser as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the correct advice and obtain the best possible outcome.

Our Tax Investigation Service

At Pierce, we provide a tax investigation service providing:

  • Peace of mind: Knowing you are protected, it pays our professional fees in the event of a check on your tax affairs, enabling us to provide expert advice every step of the way.
  • Free Access to Specialist Helpline: Subscribing clients will have free access to a specialist Unannounced HMRC visits Helpline, ensuring vital advice when you need it.
  • Cost Savings: The professional fees associated with a tax enquiry can amount to thousands of pounds. Our service covers our costs (up to the specified limits) related to HMRC enquiries & disputes, HMRC compliance visits, HMRC business inspection notices and checks to the submission of Inheritance Tax (IHT) returns.

For more information, please read our Professional Fee Protection leaflet or contact the tax team on 01254 688100.

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