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HMRC targets company directors in clampdown

COMPANY DIRECTORS are the subject of a new HM Revenue & Customs clampdown aimed at ensuring they submit personal tax returns.

It forms part of HMRC’s taskforce scheme, which usually operates in “short, sharp bursts of activity” in targeted areas of the country and perceived high-risk industries. HMRC has collected more than £80m through the use of taskforces since they were launched in 2011/12. It expects to bring in over £90m per year from taskforces launched over the next three years.

According to BDO, the firm is receiving an increasing number of client enquiries from company directors who have been informed by HMRC that they face penalties if they have failed to notify HMRC of “chargeability to tax within six months of the end of the tax year involved”.

A letter from HMRC sent to the directors asks taxpayers to provide it with details of any full or part time employments from 6 April 2006 to 5 April 2012; details of self-employment; details of any company directorships, company registration details and dividends take and; other sources of taxable income.

BDO tax investigations director Dawn Register said: “This is a logical step for HMRC to take. Companies House lists all company directors and for HMRC to cross check this with their own information, is a simple and cost effective way of ensuring that all those who should have filled in personal tax returns, have done.

“This is just further evidence of HMRC cracking the whip on those who haven’t met their tax obligations. Company directors, especially those involved in start-ups, who might be new to the process, should ensure that they are fully aware of their tax obligations as even an administrative error could lead to a significant fine.”

Some 43 taskforces have been conducted since 2011, with a further 27 are planned for 2013/14 and 30 for 2014/15.

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