We provide insurance for our clients to cover the cost of professional fees in the event of a tax investigation. The company which provides this cover has revealed that their data shows HMRC has started twice as many tax enquiries last month as they did in June 2009. It seems HMRC have been instructed to ‘dash for cash’.
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Our Consultants deal with hundreds of HMRC enquiries at any given time and as a result speak with Inspectors across the whole of the UK on a day to day basis. In the last couple of weeks, we have identified a new initiative within HMRC which appears to be known as the ‘Dash for Cash’.
The Inspectors we have spoken to have told us they are being tasked to bring in as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, which is not really surprising given the current economic environment. We understand there will be pressure to settle long running full enquiry cases and Inspectors will be encouraged to take up aspect cases which are likely to be settled more quickly to optimise the tax yield in the current fiscal year.
We have also heard from several regions that HMRC will be going back to ‘single’ case working as the new ‘Cross Tax’ enquiry framework is not working as they envisaged and is slowing up the enquiry process so it is likely that they will be reverting back to ‘where we were’!
Finally, our Claims Team received twice as many claims in June 2010 as they did in June 2009, confirming that HMRC are ‘on the move’ again and we are expecting that enquiry levels will continue to increase over the coming months.