We are specialists in HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigations including the Contractual Disclosure Facility (CDF) (COP9) and Voluntary Disclosures.
We have a wealth of experience in dealing with tax investigations and making use of disclosure facilities.
We have expertise in dealing with all HMRC enquiries, particularly with the Specialist Investigation Offices dealing with COP 8 and COP 9 enquiries, which deal with some of the most complex tax enquiries in the UK.
It is vital that control is taken at the earliest stage in a disclosure or a tax investigation. With us, you will always know when there is progress to report and you can always contact us to express your concerns and questions.
From the moment that you engage us to work for you, we will work hard to relieve you of much of the worry and stress.
Cameron Baum have expertise in preparing reports and disclosures under all available facilities and investigation codes of practice, and would be pleased to speak to you, in confidence, with no obligation.
We have substantial experience in these areas and can manage the processes on your behalf with HMRC.
Personal partner attention
We offer a personal partner service at a time when you need it most. Time, care and attention to detail that only a small firm can provide.
Our commitment on fees
- No surprise bills
- Charge out rates significantly lower than most large firms
- Full explanation of all work undertaken on your behalf
“I’m sure you do not realise that your assistance has had an effect far beyond your professional. I cannot thank you enough for helping relieve the stress which has been overhanging me for far longer than had I realised.”
Tax Client A
“Thank you so much for your time, insights and email. I’m sure many of your clients in distress express their gratitude and I am sincerely grateful.”
Tax Client J
“Thank you for being so pleasant and helpful during what I found a most miserable and upsetting time Thanks also for your patience and understanding throughout, which helped to make a most stressful time, less so.”
Tax Client S
“All I can say on behalf of J and me THANK YOU! and a Happy New Year. This truly has made this a great Christmas, and able to put all my efforts in to dealing with the recession in the New Year”
Tax Client R
5 things that you might not know
HMRC compliance offices are responsible for most taxpayers’ income tax, corporation tax and PAYE/NI affairs. Each year HMRC conducts about 200,000 enquiries into the affairs of personal taxpayers and another 50,000 into companies.
HMRC does not need to have any reason for opening an enquiry. Some local office enquiries are opened at random as part of HMRC’s way of checking a proportion of the self-assessment returns which are submitted. However most enquiries are now opened because HMRC has risk assessed your case and considered that there is additional tax due. This may be because they have information which contradicts something on your tax return or simply something they have seen that doesn’t make sense.
Specialist Office Tax Investigations are not common, but when they do occur, they are serious. Generally, there are only about 500-1000 of these cases opened each year. If you have such an enquiry, which may be carried out under Code of Practice (COP) 8 or COP 9, HMRC will suspect that you have a large amount of tax to pay. Occasionally you can be caught up in a wider enquiry where the total tax take is significant, but the amount that you personally have to pay might not be. This could happen if you were involved in a marketed tax scheme, for example.
People who have been under investigation and have tax to pay in excess of £25,000 may be “named and shamed” under HMRC’s deliberate tax defaulters list. Although this sounds quite nasty, and it is for some, unless you have a particular interest in long lists of information, your name is unlikely to make it further than the HMRC website.
Despite new laws and threats from HMRC about prosecuting for non payment of tax, the reality is that HMRC still try to resolve most tax matters using civil powers which means that you will have to pay tax, interest and penalties rather than doing time at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Therefore voluntary disclosures are still a more attractive route for most than waiting for HMRC to come knocking on your door. Full details of HMRC prosecution policy are set out at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/prosecutions/crim-inv-policy.htm
HMRC Sources of Information
Below are some of the more common sources of information available to HMRC:
CONNECT data and risk analysis system – HMRC’s latest software enables complex searches and data crawling to target potential under declarations of tax.
Informers – include ex-spouses and ex-employees who often have privileged information and are a key source to HMRC.
Financial institutions – by law, institutions such as banks are required to pass on information relating to cash and income from investments and deposits.
Overseas tax authorities – formal exchanges of information have aided and facilitated an increase in intelligence on tax evasion, most specifically from the US and the EU. In more recent years these exchanges have been extended to offshore centres such as Liechtenstein, Jersey and Guernsey and even Switzerland, something that 10 years ago seemed almost an impossibility.
Since 2017, the UK has implemented a much more extensive exchange of information program with many other countries, including jurisdictions which formerly were totally secretive about tax matters. It is very important that you review your investments at this time to ensure that you are fully tax compliant.
Government departments & local authorities – all departments for example the Land Registry, VAT Offices work much closer together and frequently exchange information.
Other sources – if you spend your undisclosed income you are at risk of getting caught. HMRC also has sources that give lifestyle information. For example private plane and classic car owner lists are used, as are customer records for swimming pool builders and yacht makers.
HMRC also received a list of all Corgi registered individuals. It was not too difficult to then match them to the individual’s tax records and to see who is declaring an honest living.
There have even been cases of HMRC tracking movements in and out of the country with information supplied by local airports.
Therefore, if you have done something wrong it is now quite possible, that at some time in the future, you will get caught
Professional Fee Insurance
There is no doubt that the HM Revenue and Customs are investing huge resources into investigating both individuals and businesses, in order to raise additional tax revenue.
These investigations can begin with:
Random PAYE/NI or VAT visits
An enquiry from HMRC on a particular item in a set of company or sole trader/partnership accounts or a personal Tax Return (known as an aspect enquiry)
A request to see all the books and records for a particular year (known as a full enquiry).
Investigations can be opened because of an unusual item in the accounts or Tax Return or simply at random. You do not need to have done anything wrong to get an investigation.
One thing is for sure, professional fees to defend yourself can be expensive.
We therefore recommend to all our clients that they take our ‘Professional Fee Protection’. We arrange this for individuals, sole traders, partnerships and limited companies.
We have negotiated a voluntary fee protection cover for our clients with TaxWise, who are one of the market leaders in this area, at very competitive rates. This insurance covers fees incurred during revenue investigations into FULL and ASPECT enquiries and VAT, PAYE and NI visits and enquiries. It also covers queries on the personal tax returns of directors and partners.
For a quote please contact Daniel or Geoffrey. Unfortunately we can currently only provide a quote for insurance cover to existing tax clients.