On surviving a tax investigation. Simon says: These rules are written for agents: I tend to take the view that anyone who tries to handle their own S.9A enquiry has left themselves entirely at the mercy of HMRC and is doomed to failure...
Deal with that opening letter (and the others) as soon as it arrives
Keep your client informed at all times
Don’t go to meetings without an agreed agenda and until you know your client is happy with it
Don’t let your client answer questions about his business or lifestyle unless he knows the answer. Don't be pressured.
Don’t complete a “lifestyle questionnaire” or answer questions about private expenditure – if necessary take them away for research
Don’t let your client hide things – especially things that HMRC are likely to know about. Be upfront.
Always be ready to go to the Commissioners
But also be ready for the deal
Keep on top of the enquiry – don't let it drift
Don't supply private bank statements unless the records have been proved faulty
None of these rules are unbreakable, and the most important thing is not to handle the case by numbers. Keep thinking.