Revenue picks on micro business, says ACCA

The Inland Revenue has been accused of unjustifiably targeting micro businesses with turnovers of £15,000 or less for investigation, writes Gavin Hinks.

ACCA claims the businesses are unfairly targeted because the Revenue is using their self assessment forms – which only require a three-line statement of profit, net profit and expenses – as a guide to which should be investigated.

ACCA’s head of tax, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, said such small business do not have the resources to deal with an investigation. ‘The government should take action now and tell the Revenue to stop stifling small-scale enterprise and instead devote its resources to seeking out individuals and businesses who do not even register for tax,’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Revenue confirmed it had begun ‘a trial’ to improve compliance among micro businesses after noticing an unexpected rise in the number of accounts filed at or below the £15,000 level.

An unknown number of small companies have been sent letters with varying degrees of warning ranging from a statement that their accounts will be reviewed to an invitation to check whether their turnover really is so small.

– Han & Yau tax furore, page 4 and opinion, page 10.

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