Tax Investigations

If you are under enquiry or investigation by HMRC, these questions may look familiar:

“Why exactly has HMRC decided to look at my tax affairs?”

  • Sometimes this can be obvious from the questions they are asking. But it can sometimes seem mysterious and worrying. We often help clients initially to ‘de-code’ where HMRC is coming from.
  • You may not be alone. We often have other clients facing very similar questions e.g. because HMRC undertakes project enquiries where the issues are similar for many people.

“Can HMRC force me to answer questions and provide documents?”

  • HMRC has significant legal powers. But they have to be applied reasonably. And you have rights as well which need to be protected.
  • We can advise you on how HMRC’s powers apply to your situation.

“How long will this process take and how much could it cost?”

  • Many enquiries can be resolved very quickly in a matter of days with minimal or no cost. More complex and contentious cases can take months or years and cost a lot more (see below under ‘special situations’). It depends on the facts. But the key is always to manage things actively and carefully so that the time taken and cost incurred are minimised and not disproportionate to the issues involved.

If you are under enquiry or investigation you will likely have more questions. We will help you find answers as part of a free, confidential and no-obligation initial discussion. Please contact us.

If you think you may have to tell HMRC that your tax affairs are not correct, whether or not you are currently under enquiry or investigation, take a look at our section on making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC.

Our expertise & approach

Our team is made up of former tax inspectors and tax investigations specialists who have extensive experience of helping clients achieve good outcomes. Our approach is to focus initially on understanding your specific facts and circumstances. This will include understanding any wider business or personal priorities that may impact on how things should be handled for you. We then seek to understand exactly what is driving HMRC’s interest in your affairs. Taking all these together, we then put together a realistic and practical action plan to get things resolved calmly and professionally. We will stay in control, keeping you informed and involved when you need to be without burdening you unnecessarily.

Arguing your case

Tax law is notoriously complicated and often open to interpretation. Our approach will include marshalling all reasonable arguments to resolve your tax liabilities professionally and in your best interests. If we think you have an arguable case, we will fight your corner. If we think your case is weak, we will explain why and not waste time and money on futile causes.

Special situations

Sometimes HMRC will adopt special procedures to conduct their enquiries and investigations and many clients approach us for help when this happens. This includes investigations under Code of Practice 8 or Code of Practice 9 – click on the links for more information. In very serious cases, where HMRC conducts a criminal investigation, we can work together with your legal advisors to provide tax and other advice as appropriate (we can help you obtain legal advice in criminal investigation cases if you do not already have an advisor).

If you would like a free, confidential and no-obligation initial discussion, please contact us.