New teams for SME avoidance schemes

HMRC have created 4 specialist teams to handle Compliance Checks into direct tax avoidance schemes used by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The taxman is transferring around 2,000 SME Compliance Checks into the new by the end of January 2012.  The teams will focus on direct tax avoidance schemes.  However Employee Benefit Trust cases will not be included.  Any business currently undergoing a Compliance Check in regard to such an avoidance scheme will be written to by the new office.

The purpose of the new teams is to create greater focus and sharing of knowledge within HMRC.  It is likely to be accompanied by a faster and more hard-hitting way of dealing with cases.  Generic letters are likely to be prepared.  If these follow the pattern of previous teams then voluminous documentation requests are likely to soon follow.  It is likely that HMRC will try and target test cases to fast track to the Tribunal.

What does this mean for me?

If you have purchased an off-the-shelf avoidance scheme then you are likely to be subject to more intense scrutiny.  It is likely that the promoters of the scheme have already considered all of the legal and technical issues. However, you may require assistance in dealing with the practicalities of an HMRC enquiry; particularly in dealing with the information requests.  If the case is likely to proceed to Tribunal then specialist advisers may well be required.

How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Specialists help me?
If you are undergoing a tax investigation or a compliance check then specialist help from Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts could save your blushes and your business.  Plus, our massive experience will almost certainly save you tax and penalties as well.
*For a free, confidential chat about your tax affairs, don’t delay, call Paul Lynam now on 0845 643 9997.