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The emotional cost of a tax investigation

The emotional cost of a tax investigation

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So the dreaded brown envelope has hit the doormat from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).  The chances of it being good news or a cheque refund are slim.  Maybe it is simply a letter “keeping in touch” and not anything more sinister such as a tax investigation.  Then again … … …

What have you done wrong?

With any tax investigation, taxpayers are best to assume that they are guilty and have to prove their innocence.  Knowing what you might be guilty of is the first question to be answered.  You could try osmosis first but realistically the only way to know what you have done is to take a deep breath and open the letter.

The emotional cost has started adding up already

The letter starts “HMRC receives information on its UK taxpayers from around the world.  Information is held by HMRC that suggests your Tax Return may be incorrect.”  Your heart flutters and you are finding it difficult to focus on the typeface in front of you.

Perhaps they have got it wrong and they are after someone else who may just happen to have the same name as you or has lived in your house in the past or, just maybe it is for you.

Sitting down to gather your thoughts you now are wondering who was the “well wisher”.  Someone at work or next door perhaps.

What do you do?

There are 3 straight forward steps:

  1. Read the letter.
  2. Understand what it is they are asking you about.
  3. Seek advice.

If it becomes obvious what has gone wrong and is easily remedied, read no further.  However, if it not obvious and/or it is not going to go away easily then you need to have a plan.

Plan A

Gather your thoughts.  Go for a walk.  Have a think.  Make a few notes.  Compile your answer.

Plan B

Gather any papers that are relevant and seek professional advice.  If there is something that needs to be put right, meet it head on and keep the costs down – not just the likely financial cost but the emotional cost too.

How we can help

Knowing how HMRC thinks can also give you and insight and steer as to how any response should be compiled.  For n initial free no obligation meeting contact me at pmalin@hwca.com or Andy at amaxfield @hwca.com.

If you cannot find the information you need on our website, please contact Paul Malin or Andy Maxfield using our contact form or email directly to pmalin@hwca.com or amaxfield@hwca.com

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Meanwood Road
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WC1X 8TA

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