Following on from last month’s Tax E-News, if you thought the risk of HMRC coming along to review your business records had gone away, there is bad news; the Business Records Checks (BRC) programme is being relaunched across the UK, although some regions will not be targeted until 2013.
HMRC will be sending letters to small businesses that it believes may be at risk of keeping inadequate records, advising them that it will be in touch by phone. This call will take businesses through a set of questions designed to assess their record keeping affairs. It is at this stage that we recommend referring the caller to us, as providing HMRC with information that is wrong or ambiguous will not help your cause.
Depending on the outcome of the phone call, HMRC will decide on whether you would benefit from “tailored educational support” and whether a visit to the premises is necessary.
If a BRC visit is arranged, we will take care to ensure that HMRC’s checklist approach provides them with a proper understanding of the records kept. We will determine this at the time of the visit, thus avoiding the risk that HMRC officers will come to the wrong conclusions when back at their own offices. Any failure on HMRC’s part to fully understand the way the business operates could result in further action taken by them.