HMRC has initiated a series of tax compliance investigations into small businesses.

In order to crack down on fraud, HMRC has begun at least two centralised compliance projects which it hopes will bring funds back to the Treasury.

Using its significant legal powers HMRC has obtained details of Airbnb rental income since 2018, and this is being checked against tax returns filed (or not filed) by those renting out their property via the Airbnb website.

Seafarers are also under the microscope as HMRC believes there has been a rise in fraudulent seafarer claims. Individual and small companies have been contacted with queries about their claims in order to check eligibility and amounts claimed.

By doing these investigations, HMRC officials hope to recover millions in additional tax, interest and penalties.

There have been numerous reports recently regarding fraudulent claims for the Government’s business support packages. It has been an expensive time for the Government and it now appears that as a result HMRC has begun a number of tax compliance programmes.

It can be concerning for businesses to receive a letter regarding a tax investigation and we are getting an increasing number of clients asking for help.

At the same time, there has been an increase in hoax emails and phone calls from individuals claiming to be from HMRC regarding tax investigations.

It is important to note that HMRC will never make first contact by telephone or email, there will always be a physical letter.

Goldwells has highly experienced tax specialists who are able to support you through tax investigations. With the eye of a tax specialist and an in depth knowledge of the legal requirements, we can guide you to a successful outcome of an investigation, to protect your business and your employees.

If you have received a letter from HMRC regarding a tax investigation, contact your local Goldwells office or for specialist support.