HM Revenue and Customs are under pressure. There are large political pressures to increase the level of tax collection to help the government with its plan to reduce the country’s fiscal deficit. In addition there is a large amount of public and media anger at the perceived prevalence of tax avoidance and evasion.
Large public cases of multinationals and their tax affairs are extensively reported in all forms of the media and have produced the feeling the HM Revenue and Customs should be more aggressive when challenging tax returns.
Although publicised cases are of large corporations and high earning individuals, in practice we are witnessing not only an increase in the number of tax investigations or compliance checks, but also a recent change in the methodology.
No longer are HM Revenue and Customs using a soft approach towards the tax payer when opening investigations. Their new rational seems to be to challenge individuals more aggressively and require more substantive information during their checks.
This makes it all the more important to make sure that you engage with a knowledgeable advisor to ensure all of your returns are submitted correctly and on time.