Taxes Management Act 1970 Section 9a
What is ‘Section 9a, Taxes Management Act 1970’?
‘The Taxes Management Act 1970 Section 9a’ is the name of the legislation that gives HMRC the power to investigate a taxpayer’s tax return.
HMRC can use TMA 1970 Section 9a to commence and enquiry up to 12 months following the filing of a return. You will sometimes hear such an enquiry referred to simply as ‘a section 9a enquiry’.
What should I expect during a Section 9a enquiry?
As part of HMRC’s investigation, it may request copies of business records, ask for a meeting with the taxpayer, or both.
We specifically recommend that clients DO NOT attend any meetings with HMRC. It’s our advice that all communication should be conducted via written correspondence.
Written correspondence provides a much more accurate record of what has (or hasn’t) been said. This is particularly useful should we need to appeal any HMRC decision at First Tier Tax Tribunal.
In addition to this, meetings with HMRC often result in ‘fishing expeditions’. HMRC routinely attempts to obtain all manner of seemingly irrelevant information. The taxpayer then sees this information used against then later in the enquiry.
Under TMA 1970 Section 9a, there is no requirement for a taxpayer to attend a meeting with HMRC.
We can resist any requests made for information by HMRC where we feel the information requested isn’t relevant. This is done by inviting HMRC to issue a ‘Schedule 36 Information Notice’ – a formal request for the information. The Schedule 36 Information request itself can then be challenged by us at First Tier Tax Tribunal.
Concluding a Section 9a enquiry
Following HMRC’s enquiry, one of three things usually happen:
HMRC is content with the information provided and no further action is taken (this is rare).
Following the ‘Section 9a Enquiry’ HMRC undercovers one or more less serious inaccuracies that will need to be addressed.
The enquiry results in HMRC finding one or more deliberate or non-deliberate inaccuracies. In this scenario it will likely launch a full tax investigation under Code of Practice 8 or Code of practice 9.
It’s worth remembering that HMRC doesn’t have the last say in any tax decision. For example, First Tier Tax Tribunal can overturn any HMRC decision.
If the thought of attending Tribunal makes you feel uneasy, don’t worry. We can handle everything. From filing the initial appeal, all the way through to representation on the day. You can find additional information regarding Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service on the ‘.gov’ website by clicking here.
It’s even possible to use HMRC’s own procedures to guarantee immunity from criminal prosecution – in cases of deliberate tax fraud. A voluntary disclosure under Code of Practice 9 offers complete immunity from criminal prosecution, in return for a full disclosure.
What should I do if I have a Section 9a enquiry?
An enquiry under the Taxes Management Act 1970 Section 9 can lead to something more serious. Seeking professional advice immediately can stop matters getting out of hand.
Whether you don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong, are aware of non-deliberate inaccuracies or have deliberately falsified your tax return, we can help.
At T M Sterling, we offer a free initial consultation to anyone who needs to speak to an expert. We can talk through the Taxes Management Act 1970 Section 9a and the various options available to you. You’ll then have specific and actionable advice that you can use moving forwards.
Call us today on 01656 724806 or send us a message to arrange a free consultation. What do you have to lose?