HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Friday, 28 March 2008

An Inspector Calls

An Inspector CallsHMRC tax inspectors will be able to carry out spot-checks on all companies and self-employed people who run their businesses from home, as from next April. Under the new rules, inspectors will be allowed to visit businesses with no warning to "inspect records, assets and premises".

At present, HMRC must open an inquiry into a company and then give 24 hours' notice of a visit.

Needless to say these new powers are not in the interests of the taxpayer, as taxpayers will be placed on the spot with no legal or professional representation.

Criminals and suspects are allowed to have a lawyer present when the police hold them for questioning, why not taxpayers?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Hmmmmm. One cannot help but wonder how much of their time they will waste. If you know HMRC are coming you dig out all your old records, make sure your major receipts and invoices are sorted in date order and have a look through to jog your memory because after 6 years many of these boring facts are a complete blur.

    If they just turn up they are likely to be hanging around for an hour while I hunt around in the attic for all my old box folders and dig my VAT receipts out from a pile of old socks.

  2. Surprised you get so few comments for an excellent blog.

    A few reciprocal links on blogs like burningourmoney would be good.

    A (probably) minor problem is the name, tried to mention your articles a couple of times on contractor uk but it has an utterly idiotic censor thing that converts link to

  3. Thanks X

    I think there are a couple of reasons for the relatively light number of comments:

    1 The site has only been around a few months, and is not yet widely known

    2 People are more afraid of HMRC than they are of the police, etc. There is a great reluctance by people to put their heads above the trench

    I sympathise wrt censors changing the name of the site. You could just say Ken Frost runs a site about HMRC, and tell people to google it?

  4. Ken, I am a frequent reader and find your blog excellent.
    Have you a link to substantiate this change? I would like to discuss it on a closed forum and I know it will be challenged.
    Incidentally, what does the phrase 'run their businesses from home' really mean? Could one get round this by having the registered address at one's accountants?

  5. Thanks Paul

    Here you are

    Don't forget to mention my site too;)

    I would say the ref to home means where the records are kept, therefore in theory if your accountant is the ref point then that's where HMRC would go.

    However, I am not 100% sure of that.

  6. Could it be construed that such a visit be harrassment?

    What would happen if, a taxpayer receiving such a visit were to claim sexual, religious or ethnical harrassment by HMRC?

    In that case, would the burden of proof still rest fully with the claimant?

    I'm sure there are some strategies which could be employed, given a visit which would remove some of the protective legal-teflon-coating off the inspectors.

    (A UK Police officer with suspicion still cannot access a property without a magistrate's warrant...)