HMRC have recently been targeting tax agents who file high volumes of tax returns and, as one of the UK’s top 100 tax return preparers by volume, Taxfile had the honour of having an inspection by HMRC inspectors during late October.
The two senior inspectors met all Taxfile staff who prepare tax returns and analysed the procedures undertaken by them to arrive at the figures entered on customer returns. They also reviewed, on a spot-check basis, a selection of files worked upon over this Summer. Analysis included checks on procedures, figure work and record keeping including the level of detail recorded in notes. The result was a resounding success – Taxfile passed with flying colours – of course!
HMRC were also satisfied with the way Taxfile had dealt with any occasional instances of missing client receipts. They reiterated that, where clients had lost receipts, some kind of proof of purchase was always needed in lieu of the official receipts. For example bank statements showing that the purchase was made via a debit card or cheque, or credit card statements showing the purchase was made originally with a Visa or MasterCard. Our own recommendation is to purchase with a company debit card so that expenses are linked directly to your company bank account and are also kept separate from personal expenses in the audit trail. This approach also allows us to make the most of your banking records (more about the benefits of online banking is here).
So, like it’s always been, the take away message for all Taxfile customers is that they must supply some kind of proof of purchase even if the original receipts have gone astray. Otherwise both Taxfile and HMRC cannot legitimately allow the entry. HMRC reserve the right to issue penalties if this advice is not followed.
If you’re due to file your tax return soon, act NOW and you’ll save money (here’s how). For help with your tax return submissions, tax refunds and accounting for tax generally, call Taxfile on 0208 761 8000 or contact us here. Taxfile are based in South London with offices in Tulse Hill, Dulwich and Exeter.