During the current Coronavirus lockdown the progress of HMRC investigations has slowed down considerably. But the cases have not been closed: and in time the investigators will be pursuing their enquiries.
Some HM Revenue & Customs investigators have moved temporarily to other duties (e.g. sorting out the Furlough scheme). Many are working from home: sometimes with limited access to electronic files and also having to deal with interruptions from children! Those going into the office are frequently having to work away from their normal desks: which leads to a disruption of their working pattern. And, of course, some are off sick.
Overall, this means that some tax enquiry cases are temporarily paused; and many others are being worked more slowly. This may give some temporary respite, and may be helpful for those who want to prolong the settlement of their tax affairs: particularly for those who need time to finance any settlement. For others, it will only prolong the agony of not knowing how or when the tax enquiry will end. And sooner or later the HMRC investigators will pick up the reins again and push the investigation forward.
What does this mean for me?
Firstly, even if you haven’t heard from HMRC for some time, it does not mean that the tax investigation is finished. It’s just on pause. You may want to decide how to use this lull to your best advantage.
For most people work is relatively quiet at the moment. This could be a good opportunity to get together all of the useful and relevant information that can help your case. Your adviser will then have time to put together a comprehensive and compelling account to HMRC: which generally helps bring tax investigations to speedier, and often better, outcomes. And if all of the taxman’s concerns have been addressed, the tax inspector may be pleased to return to a case which he can then close down quickly – before turning his sights to those taxpayers who haven’t progressed their cases at all during this lull.
At some point the lockdown will be lifted, and HMRC will go back to business as usual. You should be prepared for this.
How can Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts help me?
We are still open for business, and here to help you. Initial discussions can take place on the telephone. And if necessary we can easily arrange video-conferencing and online document sharing. We have huge experience in managing HMRC investigations, and bringing them to speedy and successful conclusions. This strange time may actually be an opportunity for us to get you the best possible outcome with HMRC.
*For a free, confidential and no obligation discussion call today:
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
or Andrew Nutbrown: 0771 877 8710