Further risks for the tax-payer!

Further risks for the tax-payer!

Recently I read this article “HMRC ‘unable to trace’ accountants’ own tax records” by Pat Sweet of Accountancy Live.

The article has given me food for thought and once again highlights the potential problems in giving more power to HMRC.

As we’ve seen lately, the government is consulting on plans to give HMRC sweeping powers to recover debts directly from individuals’ and businesses’ bank accounts, but are the moves too draconian?

The essence of the article is the story of David Savill, a high level accountant at Bishop Fleming, who received communication from HMRC asking him to confirm “his name, National Insurance number, and tax reference if he had it”.

Having paid (not inconsiderable) tax payments faithfully each year, and “not having moved home for 17 years”, naturally Savill was frustrated. And as an accountant he saw the potential for more disastrous results for taxpayers.

“If they can make so simple an error in my case, it underlines my belief that they should not be permitted to have their proposed power to grab money from the bank accounts of tax-payers that they decide have under-paid,” Savill is quoted as saying in the article.

Naturally, the larger the organisation, the more likely it is that mistakes will be made. But when it comes to the taxpayer, and your hard-earned money and properly-submitted tax returns, it is indeed more of a fearful thing if HMRC is given more direct routes to your bank accounts and funds.

However, rest assured that for those of you working with Caplan Associates, you have an advocate on your side to work with you and to ensure that any errors or mistakes which arise by the HMRC will be dealt with quickly and professionally. If you have any questions (or strange HMRC requests appearing on your doorstep!), don’t hesitate to run them past us.