VAT Inspections - Conduct of HMRC Officers
Last year's case "The Barty Party Company Limited" offers a timely reminder that HMRC officers must follow a strict protocol when conducting tax-payer enquiries.
This rather bad tempered case centred on whether HMRC had validly issued an Information Notice - i.e. a request to the taxpayer requesting that business records be produced. Whilst the detail in this case will only be of real interest to VAT purists, it does remind us that HMRC must also follow some very specific rules when undertaking VAT inspections.
Where VAT assessments are concerned the rules are particularly complicated which sometimes offers taxpayers the chance to unpick an assessment due to officer error.
Taxpayers tend to challenge an HMRC assessments on the basis of principle. So many assessments issued by HMRC are, however, invalid on technical grounds.
When HMRC decide to assess an underdeclaration of VAT they must notify and issue that assessment in accordance with strict rules. The rules are complicated and many HMRC officers do not fully understand them or simply forget about their importance.
At OMNIS we offer a free assessment checking service. Let us review your assesment - if we cannot assist you in reducing your VAT liability at least you have peace of mind that you will not be paying something unnecessarily.