Our client, a typical subbie on CIS, gets a compliance check. The income declared on his SATR is short by around £9k according to the CIS information HMRC hold.
Client shrugs and suggests that his contractor didn't give him all his CIS statements. We tell client that, regardless, the tax is still properly due but that we will write to HMRC near the end of the 30 day period in order to put off the inevitable bill and payment due date. Client accepts this and is content that he will have, in effect, a couple of months to find the money.
(As it happens, we also got a few quid knocked off as HMRC had to accept they'd messed up in not adding up their schedule properly ... every little helps.)
We also write to client telling him to expect a tax demand of circa £700.
HMRC send revised calcs showing less than £650. Cool.
A few days later the now very irate client phones up, livid that he's had a "£700 fine" and has evidently spoken directly to HMRC who have told him that as his agent, his accountant "had access to the CIS information and so should have known how much income had been earned and tax deducted". In the few words I got in edgeways I explained that we prepare the accounts and return in good faith based on the information he gives us, but am wasting my breath as the client slams the phone down.
How bl**dy dare they (HMRC that is)!!!
Have any other colleagues experienced this bad-mouthing of their work by those shining examples of professionalism and precision at HMRC?
Do we have to write to HMRC routinely now to obtain the CIS info on each of our subbie clients every May/June? When we've done this on odd occasions in the past the responses have ranged from helpful schedules to "Sorry, no. It's your client's responsibility to retain all paperwork."