Last month, I got a call from HMRC for a VAT inspection. They then send me a letter requesting the inspection (it came from the Fraud Investigation Service). We arranged the VAT inspection and after they gave me a lecture about VAT joint liability, they told me that they want to meet with me on a monthly basis.
I have had VAT visit on other businesses that I run in the past and they were either random or they were looking for something in particular. There were follow up meetings (ussually over email/phone), but no one ever asked to have monthly in person meetings. On the meeting we had they were not looking at something in particular, neither they raised any comments on the way I work. The only comments they raise was about due dilligence and knowing the ins and outs of my suppliers/customers.
Some background on the tax investigation.
When the officer contacted me, I was very suspicious that it was a scam. He left 3 voicemail messages and called 6 times on my mobile (I was on holidays with limited reception). He was not aware of the current director of the company and asked for the previous one (the change happened more that 1 year ago). He had a strong Nigerian accent (he was Nigerian as I discovered when I met him). I called the number he gave me and the lady that replied could not find if he was working for HMRC.
After a couple of hours he called me again. This time reception was good. I was polite, but raised my concerns on whether he was from hmrc or a scam. So, we might have got off on the wrong foot.
I was also on holidays and could not see him in a week. He pressed me on meeting in a week or seeing a representative of mine. It was mid-August and there was noone available to see him. After a lot of back and forth we scheduled an appointment in approx 2 weeks.
It turned up that he was from HMRC, since I both got an official letter from him and when we met and he showed me his ID.
When we met, I explained to him why I was suspicious and he looked like he understanded it.
The company is trading luxury wrist watches (Rolex, IWC, Patek, etc), so the trade is high risk fo HMRC. The company was also inactive for 2-3 years and I purchase it from a good friend and started trading it immediately. I was trading it for approx 1 year and then got the call for the inspection.
I never had any issues with HMRC or VAT and the whole thing with the monthly visits is a bit too much. Does anyone have a similar experience?