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Revenue enquiry - client wants to handle it

Revenue enquiry - client wants to handle it

The Revenue have written with detailed enquiry into a clients return.
The business is a "cash based" business so the questions are detailed and many.
eg request for copy of cash account, breakdown of drawings etc etc(the usual).

I had the client come to the office to discuss this and advised what I thought the fees could be depending on how the enquiry went.

The client was obviously less than impressed as I've received a call from his wife advising that to avoid additional fees he intends handling the matter himself.(good luck!!)

Where does this leave me with the revenues original letter.There are obviously some questions like those above which the client will not be able to answer without my help.
Should I reply to the Inspector answering all of those questions I can and advise that the client will take it from there?
I don't want to be unhelpful to the Inspector but at the same time if the client is unwilling to pay for my time I'm reluctant to get into a position were I am effectively dealing with the enquiry for nothing.



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12th Feb 2001 11:46

Saving money on fees
The client and his wife must be members of that vast body the IPFE (Institute of Practitioners of False Economy). My dentist charges £200 per hour. "Good luck" is the best advice and I,as a sole practuitioner who has paid dearly for the right to say it when appropriate,good riddance.

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12th Feb 2001 19:25

Revenue will not pursue you for information
Hi Knuckles

If you make the situation clear to the Inspector, he will not pursue you for information as he will appreciate that you are not being paid.

Obviously there are a good number of items which only you will be able to provide and you may wish to explain to your client that these are within his knowledge or power (i.e. he can ask you for them) and that the Inspector may pursue him directly for these and issue a S19A notice requiring them to be provided. Explain that you will charge a reasonable fee for supplying this information.

You might also find it worthwhile to point out that you have experience of negotiating the path of least resistance and the best outcome in enquiries, and that spending £500 to save £5,000 is not a false economy.

On at least 2 occassions recently I have not only persuaded the Inland Revenue to reduce their demands to "nil" but also to apologize and pay my fees- albeit that these were two quite exceptional cases. I'm not saying that this is necessarily appropriate here, but it might be worth pointing out the possibility.

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10th Feb 2001 09:17

Tax enquiry
What does it state in your engagement letter? The one that we use states than anything other than the answer of straightforward questions from the Revenue will be treated as a separate assignment and therefore separate agreement will be required before this work can be carried out.

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09th Feb 2001 23:07

Revenue enquiry
Firstly I would suggest that, unless the wife is also your client as part of the same set up, you should write to your client obtaining confirmation of his wishes.

Second I personally do not see how you can answer any questions on behalf of your client - you are surely no longer instructed and may potentially find a claim against you if you give information which your client, rightly or wrongly, des not wish to impart.

Presumably the Revenue will not take umbrage at being advised that you have no instructions on the matter and will no doubt serve the appropriate notice if they require you to give information.

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