HMRC scales back business record checks

HMRC scales back business record checks

20,000 small business record-keeping checks by HMRC annually, down from a proposed 50,000

THE TAXMAN’S controversial plan to check small business’ record-keeping has been scaled back, it has emerged.

HM Revenue & Customs will check 20,000 business’ records – down from its original target of 50,000.

Its business plan had included a target of 20,000 record check visits to be completed by March 2012, which has now been reduced on a pro rata basis of 12,000.

However, HMRC described its plan to increase staff working on the check from 30 to 120 – plus the increase to 20,000 checks next year – as part of an ‘extension’ of the scheme.

An HMRC spokesman said: “Currently, having undertaken pilots initially and by building up the numbers in a measured way, HMRC is seeking to develop and refine the BRC approach before introducing it on a larger scale.”

HMRC’s director of local compliance, Richard Summersgill, said: “Good record-keeping helps businesses pay the right amount of tax at the right time, thereby potentially avoiding interest and penalties.

“Adequate records give businesses a clear idea of their trading position and profitability, allowing them to make business decisions and adjustments to ensure survival and success. And where a check has shown a business keeps adequate records, it gives HMRC a greater degree of assurance as to the likely accuracy of its tax returns.”

 

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