Permanently check out of business record-keeping scheme

SO THE Business Record Checks scheme has been put on hold, until at least the start of the 2012/2013 tax year.

The pilot scheme was borne of a consultation sneaked out at Christmas 2010 – for an end of February deadline – only for the record checking of thousands of SMEs to begin before the next step of the consultation was concluded. Of course, responses were universally hostile, warning of a lack of planning and an unfocused, costly approach to achieving more accurate tax returns.

It was definitely more old-school HMRC than that of a patient taxman taking time to listen to and understand views – which in fairness has been more of the case in recent years than the past.

Some have suggested that political capital has been invested in this scheme. Personally I think that “investment” should be written off – and has run counter to the coalition’s rhetoric of easing red tape.

So if the scheme ends up taking a more “educational” slant than it has so far – as has been suggested – then good.

But I’d imagine advisors would rather have educational investment aimed at HMRC staff, than anywhere else.

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