The Telegraph reports that HMRC is to reform its "drawn out and costly" inspection procedures.
HMRC now intends to "throw the book at" firms suspected of avoiding (not that avoidance is illegal) multiple taxes, while treating honest traders with a light touch.
Should not honest traders have been treated "lightly" anyway?
It seems that HMRC has recognised that it is now the "modus operandi" for multiple inspectors would make a compliance visits in consecutive months.
Hardly an effective use of scarce resources, nor does it help the hard pressed business focus on earning money to pay its taxes.
HMRC are quoted:
"We want to get off the back of honest businesses."
As such a new inspection process will be tested for six months from June. If successful, it will be rolled out nationally from January.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary, mastering in the bleeding obvious and using the "C" word is also quoted:
"We know that agents, individuals and businesses find some of HMRC's current compliance practices drawn out and costly.
A single compliance process could help HMRC improve the customer experience and reduce costs."
"Innocent, until proven guilty" is a basic principle of English law, unless you are under the gimlet eye of HMRC.
As to whether the new inspection process actually improves things for the taxpayer, remains to be seen. Please let me know your experiences (good and bad) of the new process.
Tax does have to be taxing.
UK EXPATS: Reduce tax on UK Pensions
HMRC QROPS provider. Unlock your UK pension and access a 25% lump sum today.
Quote ID code "ABC" when contacting a QROPS specialist.
Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations
What is TAXWISE?
TAXWISE is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.
To find out more, please use this link Taxwise
Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.
Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies