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VAT investigation

HMRC officer is been unreasonable.

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I have seen a similar question posted few days back and i am in a same kind of situation. HMRC opened my client's VAT investigation and ask us all the records followed by visit. We send all the records to HMRC for inspections and HMRC officer came to ask few questions from the director everything went verywell. 

After few months we received a letter from HMRC confirming that they are satisfy with all the rercords except gifts to the clients and they will make nesscessary adjustment. 

 Another couple months passed and we received a similar letter from HMRC that they want to inspect my clients VAT records and followed by visit. I contacted HMRC and explained that director is not avaliable but they still asking for the records. 

I have failed to understand what happened to the previous inspection, why they want to come again. 

Do you think i should make a stand and ask the following questions to current HMRC officer ?

·         The HMRC did there investigation few months back ……..Yes/No

·         HMRC Officer led investigation and visited us in Dec 2018 Confirm Yes/No

·         HMRC Officer led investigation examined all records ….Yes/No

·         HMRC Officer led investigation did arrived at conclusion….Yes/No

·         Have you studied all the notes of Previous officer before approaching us with new demands.

·         Have you obtained permission of your superiors for approaching us on a case which has already been almost being concluded.

·         Can you list any cogent reasons to ask for inspection of records which HMRC has already seen.

Please let me know will above questions will make things more serious. 


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12th Jul 2019 11:37

Is it for the same period?

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to Tax Dragon
16th Jul 2019 10:01

Yes Same period

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to Bobi Adams
16th Jul 2019 10:12

Asking for what they've already had (and commented on) sounds like incompetence rather than unreasonableness.

You are within your rights to ask your questions.

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13th Jul 2019 13:11

As a business owner myself, I would be asking these questions. These are not unreasonable questions to ask an HMRC inspector & you have every right to ask them.

At the end of the day, your tax dollars are keeping these goons in employment - remind them of that. If this does go to court, for what ever reason, any judge will see that you have made every effort to comply and work with HMRC on their investigation.

I dont know what your background is, however, you say you have clients. This would say to me you're a skilled, educated professional working in this field, & who has worked hard to get to where you are today - these HMRC inspectors barely have a GCSE to their name, hence why they work for HMRC, so don't be intimiated by them. Ask whatever professional question you feel is necessary and remind them that you'll work with if they work with you.

I'm sorry for my non-conservative response, but with HMRC you need to handle them with an equal force.

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to ToddGilbey
14th Jul 2019 18:06

ToddGilbey wrote:

- these HMRC inspectors barely have a GCSE to their name, hence why they work for HMRC, so don't be intimiated by them.

Careful, I know I'm not the only ex-HMRC member here (and I have a chunk more than a GCSE), and comments like that are deliberately inflammatory.

Incompetence can originate on all sides.

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to ToddGilbey
15th Jul 2019 08:49

Do I get the impression that HMRC have caught you doing something wrong that you clearly thought was ok?

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By Jdopus
15th Jul 2019 11:32

I agree that you should make a stand, although I won't be quite as much of a firebrand about it as Todd.

Those questions are more than reasonable, complying with HMRC inspections is expensive and stressful and I think it's our professional duty to push back when HMRC attempt to launch multiple investigations into the same client over a short period of time.

At the very least, even if the inspection goes ahead, you will have established your objections from the outset and this can be useful if it gets to a tax tribunal. It can also be a good thing to have in reserve if they try to launch a third inspection in the near future.

I have in the past succeeded in getting HMRC to close enquiries on these grounds. I've also encountered a situation last year where an HMRC inspector attempted to open a new case into my client without being aware that he had an inspection for the same tax just six months prior - so clearly HMRC sometimes make such a muddle of things that they don't realize they're retreading an investigation they've already covered.

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