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Accountants Warn of Tough New Tax Regime

Surrey accountants TWP Accounting LLP have warned that businesses and individuals need to be more careful than ever with their tax affairs as a new, tougher regime by the taxman rapidly approaches.

From April 2009, HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) power to obtain information and documents will be extended to cover capital gains tax, corporation tax, the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS), income tax, PAYE and VAT and it will also have new powers to inspect business premises. The impact of the new rules includes:

  • HMRC will be able to ask taxpayers for documents and information that is “reasonably required” to check their tax position, even where no tax return has been submitted or before a tax return is due.
  • HMRC officers will be able to inspect business documents and business assets at the premises to check an individual’s tax position, and inspect the premises themselves. They will also be able to make unannounced inspections.
  • HMRC will have the power to require third parties to provide documents and information relevant to a taxpayer, going back further than the current six-year limit.

Andrew Goddon, tax partner at TWP, said: “These powers will come into force at the same time as a new penalty regime for errors on tax returns. The penalties will apply to capital gains tax, the CIS, corporation tax, income tax, national insurance, PAYE and VAT returns and other documents due to be filed on or after 1 April 2009.

“Penalties range from up to 30 per cent of the tax due if the error is careless to 70 per cent of the tax due if deliberate and up to 100 per cent of tax due if the error is deliberate and the individual conceals it.

“Having your tax returns prepared professionally will minimise the risk of errors and help to keep your tax affairs in order, to reduce the risk of an HMRC visit or enquiry. Enquiries can be costly as well as stressful, so at TWP we offer fee protection insurance to cover our costs and those of other advisors, of up to £75,000 a year in the event of an HMRC enquiry or a VAT, PAYE and national insurance dispute.”

or more information please call 01932 704 700.

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