HMRC VAT Inspection Help 

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If you have a HMRC VAT Inspection coming up, don’t panic. HMRC carries out thousands of VAT inspections each year, most of which come to nothing.

However, the key word here is most. If you’re worried about the VAT inspection uncovering something untoward then you need to act sooner rather than later. Get in touch with an advisor and get professional advice as soon as possible.

Even if you are completely prepared for the inspection, this doesn’t always mean that things will go plan. HMRC has a habit of coming up with a completely inaccurate version of events, even when the information is right there in front of them. This probably isn’t surprising when you find out that each HMRC Tax Inspector is targeted on the amount of revenue they need to bring in each year; it’s in the tax inspector’s best interests to find a problem.

Now, in this first scenario, we’ll assume that everything your end is in order.  The key to managing any tax inspection is preparation; whether it be a self-assessment check, VAT inspection or anything else for that matter.

VAT Inspection Tips – Preparing for a VAT Inspection

Although the outcome of the initial inspection is largely out of your hands, there are steps you can take to help to minimise the possibility of any issues arising during the inspection.

Get Your Records in Order

Depending on the type of inspection, HMRC will expect to see different records. Clearly, it’s not going to look good if you’re struggling to find purchase invoices or have lost fuel receipts.

Make sure that your information is readily available and easily accessible on the day.

Don’t Hide the VAT Inspection from Your employees

Firstly, it’s natural to want to keep this private. But, it’s not always for the best. Although we don’t recommend sending an email around the entire business, there are some employees who will need to know. Generally, these include accounts seniors, financial controllers and possibly staff involved in the purchase or sale of goods or services.

This will help to ensure that employees are properly prepared for the VAT inspection and the necessary information can be provided accurately and efficiently.

Don’t Try to Hide Issues from HMRC

It’s only natural to want to try and hide any issues you identify when preparing for a VAT inspection. This is a highly risky tactic. If the inspector discovers any irregularities, such as missing invoices, then they’ll expect you to know about it. If you claim that you didn’t know then this is likely to give them cause for concern, which could result in further inspections or even possibly a full tax investigation.

Any issues need to be addressed head on. HMRC will want to see that you have a good grasp of what’s going on in your business. Although it seems counter intuitive, you want to be the one who identifies issues and tells HMRC how you intend to act on them. You should take every opportunity to demonstrate that you fully understand your businesses finances.

What If I Know There Are Issues with My Businesses Finances?

If you know that HMRC will likely uncover serious issues with the businesses finances during the VAT Inspection, then you’ll need to act quickly. We highly advise you to get a specialist advisor, such as T M Sterling, if this is the case.

Deliberately Falsified Accounts / Undeclared Income

Don’t panic, we can help. If you’ve deliberately falsified your businesses records or hidden profit for personal gain, then you’ve come to the right place; we specialise in this exact scenario.

There is a procedure we use to not only allow you to disclosure all irregularities to HMRC, but to also give you complete immunity from prosecution. In most cases, this also prevents the tax inspection taking place.

Next Steps

If you need VAT Inspection advice, call us today and we’ll talk you through the exact process. Our Initial consultations are always free. And don’t worry, you won’t need to have direct contact with HMRC at any point.

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