This article is going to cover how to make the most of your relationship with the HMRC and in subsequent articles deal with specific issues over vat, corporation tax, and a multitude of other important issues in terms of maximising the benefits from the relationship.
What does the HMRC expect from businesses?
Compliance with tax legislation
Payment of taxes in full and on time
The HMRC recognises that some businesses will be astute and put significant effort in to minimising their tax; thus the distinction between tax evasion (illegal) and tax avoidance (legitimate). The HMRC may end up with legislation with unintended loopholes and with the Treasury will work to close the loopholes in subsequent Finance Acts.
To be able to advise businesses on tax matters and provide quality advice there needs to be sufficient information shared so that opportunities to avoid tax can be explored and opportunities to deal with payment in full and on time issues can also be covered.
The HMRC expects all businesses to pay their tax in full and on time. However, they do appreciate that sometimes there are circumstances that make this difficult if not impossible. The topics to be covered are how to deal with this situation and of course, it is better if you are aware in advance of a problem and can take steps rather than just fail to meet your commitment.
Problem: The business cannot pay the HMRC in full or on time.
The HMRC staff have clear guidelines on what to ask, what they can do and businesses need to be aware before they talk to the revenue in order to understand their position. There are also grey areas where there may be scope for negotiation. As in most circumstances there are appeal processes and it clearly is not in the interests of the HMRC to prolong the situation with Appeals – both from a time perspective and the extra work involved.
The HMRC can make and will make interest charges for late payments.
There are various ways of getting advice relevant to a payment or timing issue, one of our advisers is able to discuss the particular situation and provide solutions. In the other articles we will cover corporation tax debts, PAYE tax arrears, VAT tax debts, NI National Insurance debt, time to pay programmes, tax payment plans and more information on dealing with HM Inland Revenue.