At Vincent & Co we have a great insurance product which protects you against the cost of fees if you become involved in a dispute with HMRC.  You probably know HMRC’s Business Record Checks have returned as HMRC officially re-launched the pilot in November.

The first pilot was heavily criticised for the cost effectiveness of the programme for both businesses and HMRC themselves. From the end of November HMRC began to check small and medium-sized businesses in London and East Anglia before moving to South Wales and the South West in February 2013.

So what can you as a small business expect?
If you are suspected of keeping poor records HMRC will write to you and your accountant, then telephone you. You will be asked a series of questions designed to assess the quality of your records.

For our clients we will approach HMRC as soon as we receive this letter and not wait for you to be telephoned. We are familiar with the questions to be asked and we’re more likely to be able to avoid a visit to you.

Only the minority of businesses are expected to receive a visit. If they believe corrective action is needed they will arrange a follow-up visit three months later.. If the corrective action has not been done HMRC might then levy a penalty for poor record keeping.

When you have our Fee Protection Insurance the benefits to your business are:

  • The cost of us making the call the HMRC is completely covered.
  • If HMRC decide to visit you the fees incurred in us attending the meeting will be covered.

If you enter a dispute with HMRC then the usual conditions of our insurance will apply, which are explained below.

Vincent & Co Enquiries and Dispute Service
This service will provide you with up to £75,000 of fees for the following events:

  • Attendance at any meeting with or dealing with any correspondence from HMRC.
  • Income and Corporation Tax Self-Assessment Full and Aspect Enquiries.
  • VAT Dispute and Employer Compliance Disputes (PAYE/P11D/P9D/NIC/R35/CIS).
  • Automatic private individual cover for all directors or partners and their spouses for their personal tax returns (as soon as we complete their tax returns and they show no other self-employed income).

I really want you to take advantage of this service as it provides me with the means to fight your corner for you with the need to charge substantial fees. These situations are stressful enough without our fees adding to your angst.

In order to be clear about the service provision, this does not cover:

  • Outstanding taxes, fines, penalties, interest or any amounts due to HMRC.
  • Pre-existing enquiries or disputes and tax returns submitted outside statutory time limits, i.e. late returns.
  • The defence of criminal prosecutions and investigations.
  • Routine compliance work, i.e, fees incurred in respect of the routine presentation of your tax affairs.

I have agreed that if you participate you will have access to a telephone helpline providing access to advice on health & Safety Legislation and Employment Law Advisory Service, which is becoming ever more problematic for the small business.

If you are interested in participating we have a Response Slip and Summary of Service for your convenience, which can be printed and returned to us with payment. if you prefer for us to post out the forms my colleague Louise will assist you.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss the scheme.