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How To Handle HMRC Officers Doing Investigations

The issue of how to handle HMRC officers is about dealing with people.

You may not welcome their investigations with open arms but they are individuals tasked with doing a job ie. to check tax returns. It would be no good if there were no investigations ever of taxpayers’ tax returns. Not convinced?

Well, consider the cases of Bounce Back Loan fraud and the lack of checks that has now led to the writing off of massive numbers of Bounce Back Loans. That means considerable amounts of public money lost to the taxpayer. HMRC tax investigations are checks into tax returns to safeguard public money.

The Balancing Act When Dealing With Investigators

There is a delicate balancing act here (indeed as with any such financial investigation).

There is always a risk of satellite investigations sprouting. The fear of providing information to prevent other investigations from arising is not going to get the one that is open from being closed down more quickly.

You have to deal with what is the known investigation at the time. If the requisite information is there to nip an investigation in the bud, then consider providing it with alacrity. If you dillydally around then what are you saying to the inspector?

Well, it depends upon the DNA profile of the inspector. Someone doing investigation work who diligently adopts the mindset of scepticism may infer delays in mere provision of information that ought to be readily available, as an indication that the requirement to keep company records has not been met. Also, resistance in providing information risks sparking added interest in obtaining the information. Remember the natural human mentality of wanting what you cannot have?

Duty To Come Clean To HMRC

The taxpayer has a duty to come clean to HMRC https://www.oliverelliot.co.uk/insolvency-guides-and-information/taxpayers-duty-to-come-clean-to-hmrc/.

If a taxpayer complies with that duty expeditiously and has nothing to hide, they are likely to stand more chance of getting an investigation closed down.

Inexperience HMRC Investigating Officers

It is the luck of the draw as to whether an investigation is dealt with by an experience or inexperienced officer. Clearly, the more tax that is involved and the greater the concern about misconduct, then conceivably the more senior the officer might be who is investigating.

If you are dealing with an investigator new to the game, then inexperienced officers need to be educated during the process by; simple as that. It might appear unfair that they are educated by those taxpayers they are investigating (or those instructed to act for the taxpayer) but it is unlikely that you can have an investigator removed and or replaced except if they operate in some oppressive manner.

In dealing with such an inexperienced officer:

1. Invite them to evidence the authority for any of their unvarnished assertions.
2. Don’t issue unvarnished assertions ie. quote relevant authority.

Remember whatever such an officer decides you can still ask for decisions to be reviewed.

How To Handle HMRC Officers Doing Investigations

The issue of how to handle HMRC officers is about dealing with people.

You may not welcome their investigations with open arms but they are individuals tasked with doing a job ie. to check tax returns. It would be no good if there were no investigations ever of taxpayers’ tax returns. Not convinced?

Well, consider the cases of Bounce Back Loan fraud and the lack of checks that has now led to the writing off of massive numbers of Bounce Back Loans. That means considerable amounts of public money lost to the taxpayer. HMRC tax investigations are checks into tax returns to safeguard public money.

The Balancing Act When Dealing With Investigators

There is a delicate balancing act here (indeed as with any such financial investigation).

There is always a risk of satellite investigations sprouting. The fear of providing information to prevent other investigations arising is not going to get the one that is issued from getting closed down more quickly.

You have to deal with what is the known investigation at the time. If the requisite information is there to nip an investigation in the bud, then consider providing it with alacrity. If you dillydally around then what are you saying to the inspector?

Well, it depends upon the DNA profile of the inspector. Someone doing investigation work who diligently adopts the mindset of scepticism may infer delays in mere provision of information that ought to be readily available, as an indication that the requirement to keep company records has not been met. Also, resistance in providing information risks sparking added interest in obtaining the information. Remember the natural human mentality of wanting what you cannot have?

Duty To Come Clean To HMRC

The taxpayer has a duty to come clean to HMRC https://www.oliverelliot.co.uk/insolvency-guides-and-information/taxpayers-duty-to-come-clean-to-hmrc/.

If a taxpayer complies with that duty expeditiously and has nothing to hide, they are likely to stand more chance of getting an investigation closed down.

Inexperience HMRC Investigating Officers

It is the luck of the draw as to whether an investigation is dealt with by an experience or inexperienced officer. Clearly, the more tax that is involved and the greater the concern about misconduct, then conceivably the more senior the officer might be who is investigating.

If you are dealing with an investigator new to the game, then inexperienced officers need to be educated during the process by; simple as that. It might appear unfair that they are educated by those taxpayers they are investigating (or those instructed to act for the taxpayer) but it is unlikely that you can have an investigator removed and or replaced except if they operate in some oppressive manner.

In dealing with such an inexperienced officer:

1. Invite them to evidence the authority for any of their unvarnished assertions.
2. Don’t issue unvarnished assertions ie. quote relevant authority.

Remember whatever such an officer decides you can still ask for decisions to be reviewed.

What Next?

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Disclaimer: How To Handle HMRC Officers

This page How To Handle HMRC Officers is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. This article How To Handle HMRC Officers is provided for information purposes only. You can contact us on the specific facts of your case to obtain relevant advice via a Free Initial Consultation.

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