5 Rules For Surviving A Tax Investigation

Written by on November 8, 2013 in Money - No comments | Print this page

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property_taxesThe HM Revenue & Customs can be rather scary people.  There is a lot at stake if you get things wrong and when it comes to self-assessment, you can really end up in hot water if you are not careful.

Here are the top five rules for surviving a tax investigation:

Rule number one – Stay calm

If you are currently the subject of a tax investigation then the first thing to remember is to keep calm. Panicking, fleeing the country or any other rash decisions will not serve you well.  You may also end up in jail if you do something really daft.

Rule number two – Seek expert advice

The next step is to seek expert advice.  By speaking to us at Taylorcocks we can help you get the independent advice that you will need in order to help you at this time. The jargon can be enough to confuse you from the offset, so having someone who is able to decipher it, and is on your side, will count for an awful lot.

Rule number three – Be prepared

When you have your meetings with the HMRC you will want to be as prepared as possible.  They know what they are talking about, they really do.  They will have investigated so much that they will probably know things that you are not even aware of. Failing to prepare really is preparing to fail in this case.  Don’t let any stone go unturned; they sure won’t.

Rule number four – Be compliant

Make sure that you comply with everything that they are asking from you.  Failing to do so could cost you more than you ever thought possible.  Remember, this is your business you are talking about here and the HMRC have your livelihood and reputation in question, as well as in the palm of their hand.

Rule number five – Don’t lie, or destroy evidence

If you lie you could face jail time.  Equally, if you have been asked to supply records or information that you know will highlight your failings where tax is concerned then don’t be tempted to destroy them either.  The HMRC will find out and, even if the reason for doing so is legitimate, you could still find yourself in trouble for destroying something that they may need at a later date.

Overall it is vital, in order to survive a tax investigation, that you comply with everything that the HMRC set for you.  From meetings to supplying documentation, you will need to be as upfront as you possibly can be.  Don’t be tempted to lie, destroy evidence, talk with friends or family members about it, or do anything rash.

They key is to stay calm and to seek expert advice when you can.  This will help you to stand the best chance possible against the people that do have the power to send you to prison for your tax evasion.

Remember that your business is on the line here.  It is time to do all you can to protect it.

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By Harry Price

Harry Price is a free-lance writer and proud owner of arguably the most incredible dogs. He enjoys volunteering in his spare time and spending time chatting over a beer. 

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