It appears that HMRC have introduced a ‘VAT Outstanding Returns Campaign’. This entails chasing upwards of 50,000 businesses who have failed to submit all their VAT returns.
Businesses have been given until the end of February to file any missing VAT returns and pay the outstanding amounts. The outcome of not doing this is that they will be more closely scrutinised or to quote the HMRC website “your tax affairs will receive closer attention”. Sounds like a threat to me!
HMRC are relentless in their pursuit of all things tax and small businesses are persistently targeted. I am not going to get on my soap box about the recently exposed larger corporations who have, for whatever reason, avoided paying their taxes. Suffice to say it is a reality that smaller businesses are the easy targets and once again they are having to make up for the deficit left by the big boys!
It is a familiar situation now that our clients are forever worried about the threat of HMRC investigations, and for that reason we provide an insurance policy that covers the cost of our time whilst working on such investigations, called Fee Protection. The comfort of having this safety net is very popular with our clients.
I would recommend all business owners talk to their accountant to see if they offer such a product.
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