getting the ID is so important
Cutting a very long story short...
Two brothers came to see me the other week. “It’s my son” said one of them “ in trouble with the tax man”. “I need to meet your son and see his accounts” I replied.
They returned a few days later with the books and records and lots of nasty stuff from the tax authorities. “Where is your son?” I asked “I can not act without meeting him”.
The following week they returned with the son who had his passport, drivers license and home utility bills in hand. He also had some tax demands which he had just received out of the blue.
Unbeknown to the son a firm of accountants had been acting for him, they had prepared and filed tax returns for him. Unbeknown to him the VAT man had visited a business, registered it for VAT and issued him with a £60,000 assessment. Unbeknown to him he had been investigated and assessments for underpaid tax of £30,000 had been raised dating back six years.
It was the collector who tracked down his home address and sent the demands.
The son was adamant, he had a full time job (six years of P60s supplied), he had never spoken to any accountants or tax people about anything. He worked in one town and lived in another. He had no time to run a business in a third town.
He had not see any of the paperwork in his name - the tax bills were an obvious shock.
Now I do know who was actually running the business and I’m as sure as one can be that the son really knew nothing about it. I know a Money Laundering report is required here and that there may be serious consequences for one of his relatives.
What I could not believe was that the Inland Revenue had opened, conducted, concluded and closed an investigation without establishing the identity of the taxpayer. Not to mention the failure of the Chartered Accountants assisting them. You can not open a bank account or become a client of mine without proving your ID.
If I had not stuck to my guns about meeting the client (the Son) and checking his ID I could have got myself into a real mess. By forcing the issue the story changed and the truth came out.
Should I be reporting the Accountants?