Unannounced HMRC visit advice

Attempted visit from a HMRC worker twice within a week

Didn't find your answer?

On Friday morning whilst on a work call (I work from home as an IT contractor through my ltd company), a gentleman claiming to be from HMRC knocked on my door asking for me by name. My partner answered and took a message, he left his name and number. 

 

I tried calling the number a few times Friday afternoon but no answer.  I actually managed to call HMRC directly because I was starting to worry.  They said there was nothing on my file, no debts or alerts etc to flag that a visit was required and there was no record of an officer visiting that same morning. They even advised me to ignore it.  I've also had no letters/calls/emails from HMRC to suggest any visits were scheduled etc 

 

Had me worried and thinking over the weekend. I thought it may have been related to business related affairs but again I spoke to HMRC this morning and they said nothing was out of place from a business perspective. 

Whilst out today, the same guy visited again (got him on the camera) but again couldn't call him. 

I'm feeling very suspicious about it but also conscious that it could be something genuine. 

Does this sound like normal behaviour from HMRC?  And do you think it should be something to worry about if it is HMRC related?  Are unannounced visits a thing and if so what should I expect?

Replies (16)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By David Ex
02nd May 2023 19:34

Msp2011 wrote:

Does this sound like normal behaviour from HMRC?  And do you think it should be something to worry about if it is HMRC related?  Are unannounced visits a thing and if so what should I expect?

Unless you have some “issues” in the returns you have made and tax you have paid, you shouldn’t be a problem. Are you confident of that?

If your concern persists, it would be an opportune time to appoint an accountant.

Thanks (0)
Replying to David Ex:
avatar
By Msp2011
02nd May 2023 19:45

Thanks. Yeah all is good on that front. I do have an accountant who made all the returns on my and my company's behalf

Thanks (0)
Replying to Msp2011:
avatar
By Leywood
02nd May 2023 20:10

Speak to your Accountant

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Matrix
02nd May 2023 19:47

Which office did you call? Since you would have to call the SA, PAYE, CT and VAT offices. I would also check your post for letters from debt collection and the balances on all the online accounts.

Is your address on the public record?

Thanks (0)
Replying to Matrix:
avatar
By Msp2011
02nd May 2023 19:55

I've contacted SA and also CT. I don't have PAYE. I haven't tried VAT yet. Will call in the morning.

My details are on public record at companies House.

Could it be an unannounced bookkeeping or audit visit or something relating to IR35? Definitely had no correspondence

Thanks (0)
Replying to Msp2011:
avatar
By Matrix
02nd May 2023 20:08

I doubt it. Unless you have some historic loan charge issue or whatever.

Thanks (0)
Replying to Msp2011:
avatar
By SXGuy
03rd May 2023 07:59

You haven't tried vat yet? Vat inspections are the most common. I'd bet it was that.

Thanks (0)
DougScott
By Dougscott
02nd May 2023 21:03

I've never heard of unannounced visits by HMRC unless they have a warrant. If the guy calls again I would ask to see his ID and find out what he is calling about and tell him he will need to arrange a formal meeting through your accountant.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Dougscott:
Lisa Thomas
By Lisa Thomas - Insolvency Practitioner
03rd May 2023 11:13

I thought HMRC do not always need a warrant?

In any event, attending to discuss matters, without entry, wouldn't need a warrant.

I agree you should ask for ID and full details of what he is calling about.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Dougscott:
avatar
By Leywood
03rd May 2023 15:14

I have 2 clients close to each other used to get unannounced visits on an almost weekly basis, until they eventually told me and I made a complaint of harassment.

Thanks (1)
avatar
By Open all hours
03rd May 2023 05:19

Yes it is normal behaviour for HMRC to act in a way which many of us would regard as incompetent. If I left you my phone number I would be ready for you to call back and if I missed your call I’d then ring you. Talk to your accountant.

Thanks (1)
VAT
By Jason Croke
03rd May 2023 07:00

HMRC can turn up unannounced if it relates to a debt. You need to call debt management and see if they are chasing you.

The Officer who calls should leave contact details though, so that is a bit out of character.

There are a lot of frauds at present where people use your name/address to set up companies, obtain a VAT number, charge VAT and then do a runner and then HMRC visit the address of the unsuspecting victim.

In the news last week, a bloke in Cardiff had 11,000 companies registered to his flat without his knowledge and HMRC chased him for millions of VAT.

So call debt management and ask them about your address itself.

Thanks (3)
VAT
By Jason Croke
03rd May 2023 15:23

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-65205520.amp

New article about the guy with 11,000 companies registered to his house without his knowledge.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Jason Croke:
avatar
By rmillaree
03rd May 2023 16:12

worth flagging this one up once a week - just to laugh :)

Comments by Mr Harra when pushed ref these 11k companies quite staggering.

Mr Harra said investigations "so far have found no evidence of fraud or fraudulent intent" and 70% of the businesses registered to Mr Davies's address operated in online marketplaces.

Thanks (1)
Replying to rmillaree:
avatar
By Matrix
03rd May 2023 17:00

We are expected to have systems in place to comply with AML on their behalf and have to submit suspicious activity reports (at our own cost) if we spot anything yet they don’t have a system in place which spots this. It’s not fair.

Thanks (1)