....and they want the right to help themselves from our bank accounts!
Perhaps we should all start bombarding our professional bodies with these issues. Then maybe they will allocate someone to bring pressure to bear on Government and the HMRC to sort out these issues instead of pouring over the latest FRS which frankly I couldn't care less about.
HMRC want more and more powers without robust rights of appeal. Some of it is being dressed up as combating anti-avoidance, but you can bet the farm on someone like Kevin spotting that you can apply it elsewhere. If they are going to use a right to request documents as a way of preventing tax repayments being made they aren't going to worry about bending the tax avoidance rules.
With them wanting to dip into our bank accounts these are worrying times.
Money Laundering Offence?
If a client gets paid twice by a customer and writes that amount off in their records, without making any effort to repay it, I am reasonably certain that is reportable under the money laundering regulations.
Surely if HMRC have a refund due to our client and refuse to refund it, they are guilty of the same offence and should be reported. Then maybe HMRC will have to prove why they think the over payment in their records isn't due rather than the other way around?
I was told that they don't give out details because they don't have sufficient staff, but if you write in and give them a schedule of the payments they will check it and let you know the differences. Obviously that takes far less time?
They also told me they only record what the client sends and that they don't make mistakes.The May payment in 2013 was arbitarely re allocated to 2012 to clear the arrears. They didn't let the client know that had happened. How are we supposed to be able to reconcile the clients tax liability if they don't tell us what they are doing.
On another occasion the client paid his corporation tax but omitted the reference and HMRC decided it must be PAYE even though that created an over-payment for the year. It took three hours of hanging on the telephone to finally determine what had happened.
I am old enough to remember having local inspectors that you could talk to and genuinely felt that the Inland Revenue and us wanted the same thing .... a taxpayer paying the correct amount of tax. There seemed to be a spirit of co-operation. Now I feel more often than not that HMRC regard the accountancy profession as the enemy and their main drive is to take as much as they can from taxpayers whether it is due or not.
Its funny how the "top 4" continue to think they know whats best for every other accounting firm and SME in the country. PWC would turn away most of the companies using a FRSSE because the fees would be to small. Most of the disclosure requirements for smaller companies are not understood by the owners and anything that makes their accounts simpler has got to be a good idea.