My client was cold called by a Capital Allowance Specialist looking into a potential Embedded Capital Allowance claim for a Guest House.
I'm happy to co-operate with this, I've done so before and I have seen a fair few reports over the last 10 years. In this instance all goes well until I see the amendments to the Tax returns that they've prepared - they incorrectly have adjusted the Turnover figure and the Balance Sheet no longer balances, plus various other very, very basic mistakes. On delving further I find that a site visit hasn't actually been carried out, but a telephone interview was carried out with my client, the results of which were fed into a generic template. I have questioned it but they absolutely stand by their computations as it isn't written in law that an actual site survey be carried out.
In the meantime this company has telephoned my client belittling my concerns and promised 100% acceptance by HMRC, they have tried to persuade my client that it is perfectly acceptable to HMRC if no site visit is carried out. As far as I'm concerned this is a Specialist area that requires a site visit by a suitably qualified surveyor tin order to establish exactly what is in the fabric of the building and the MV of that in order to make a robust claim. Anything less would in my view be negligent and not justify a hefty fee.
My gut reaction is that this is absolutely not ok to make such a specialised claim without a full eyes on site visit by a suitably qualified surveyor followed up with a robust evidence based Capital Allowances report. The company in question are saying that I'm wrong and that no site visit needs to be made and they are applying pressure to my client citing other Accountancy firms that I can contact to satisfy myself of their success rates. The one that they mentioned to my client is a franchise arrangement, that I don't rate at all. I've been in this business for over 25 years, so have lots of experience, but finding it tough against this hard sell to my client.
I do feel strongly about this and everything about this company just feels wrong and my over arching wish is to protect my client. So short question is - is it ok for an embedded Capital Allowances claim to be based on a specialist survey conducted over the phone? If you have any other gems of advice then these too are welcome.