The pilot version of the scheme began in March, with a "promise" by HMRC that penalties would not be levied during the pilot stage.
Can you guess what happened next children?
Yes, that's right, HMRC appears to have broken its "promise".
The Telegraph quotes Mike Down, head of tax risk and investigation management at Baker Tilly, who said that its accountants had observed HMRC officers telling small business owners "there was no pilot" and record-keeping penalties would be pursued if "anything was found to be wrong".
"If HMRC is genuinely looking to improve the standard of record keeping, rather than investigating traders by the back door, then the department must make sure it plays by the rules."
Ah now you see there are "rules" and there are "rules", it all rather depends on whether you are HMRC, or an SME.
The Telegraph were told by HMRC:
""We are not seeking to apply the penalty provision during [the pilot] other than in exceptionally serious cases.
In [most cases] the approach will be to assist in improving the business records, where there is a need."
So that's alright then!
Tax does have to be taxing.
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