HMRC Services


Can HMRC Just Turn Up At My Premises

If you pay your income tax liabilities late you will be charged interest. Interest may be charged or added to repayments of income tax. This article will help you identify the dates on which incometax is payable and outlines for you how HMRC calculate the interest due on underpaid or over paid tax. This article will also explain how HMRC considers financial liabilities or payments that may arise as a result of non-compliance with UK tax law. London Bookkeepers are experts in the field of UK Self-assessment and as such offer tax advice as part of our London bookkeeping service to all our London Small to medium sized business clients.

Under the self-assessment system income tax which is not deducted at source is payable as follows:

1. The taxpayer’s income tax liability for the tax year in relation to all sources of income is aggregated as a total income. This tax liability is increased by the amount of any Class 4 National Insurance contributions which are due for the year.

2. Payments on account of the total liability are due on 31 st January in the tax year and on the following 31 st July. For example, the payments on account for 2018-19 are due on 31 st January 2019 and 31 st July 2019. Each payment on account is equal to 50% of the taxpayers liability to income tax and Class 4 National Insurance Contributions for the previous tax year, less any tax which was paid by deduction at source ( including tax paid by means of the PAYE system ). Note that:

 Payments on account are not required if the taxpayer’s total liability to income tax and Class 4 National Insurance contributions for the preceding year (less tax deducted at source) was under £1000.

  • Payment on account are also not required if more than 80% of the taxpayer’s liability for the previous year was satisfied by deduction of tax at source.
  •  A taxpayer who believes that his or her liability for the current year will be less than in the previous year may claim to make reduced Payments on account. There are penalties for making such a claim fraudulently or negligently.
  • A balancing payment (Or repayment) is normally due on 31 January following the end of the tax year. For example, the 2018-2019, balancing payment is due on 31January 2020. But note that:

1. If a return notice is issued late (i.e. after 31 October following the end of the tax year to which it relates ) and this has not been caused by the taxpayer’s failure to notify his or her chargeability to tax, the balancing payment is due three months after the date of the notice.

2. If a self-assessment is amended by the taxpayer or by HMRC (or if a discovery assessment is raised) any additional amount payable is due 30 days after the date of its notification to the taxpayer or on 31 st January following the end of the tax year, whichever is the latest. However, this rule does not defer the date from which interest accrues on the additional tax. The amount of the balancing payment is equal to the income tax and Class 4 National insurance contributions liability for the year, less any tax deducted at source and less the Payment on Accounts. The taxpayer’s liability to Class 2 National insurance contributions is added to this payment, along with any capital gains tax payable for the year.

Know Your Rights If HMRC turns up Unannounced

When HMRC wish to contact you, they will not normally call on to your business premises without a prior appointment. Some people are under the allusion that HMRC will turn up unannounced, this is certainly not normal procedure for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. HMRC almost always agrees visits and appointments well in advance, however, in recent years there has been a significant increased in HMRC inspectors turning up unannounced. At London Bookkeepers we are experts in all fields of tax compliance, tax investigations and vat investigations and therefore advise as follows:

HMRC officers will usually only turn up in an unannounced visit if it believes or has evidence to show that you have not responded to prior letters that they have sent to you in the post. Another reason for turning up unannounced is because it is their belief that you may be concealing information from them or it is your intention or their belief that you may be concealing information of evidence from them and they believe that you could be guilty of tax evasion. The reason for their visit is because they are suspicious, and we advise that you handle the visit with great care.

What Do I Say If HMRC Turns Up At My Premises. London Bookkeepers Explains All

For HMRC to turn up without a prior appointment for the purpose of inspecting your primary records the appointment must have been previously approved by a senior manager. When they first visit your premises, you must request a copy of the authorisation letter and be given the formal notice CC/FS4. This HMRC formal notice outlines your rights and the rights of HMRC. Please ensure you read the notice CC/FS4 very carefully. If you want to contact we can assist you with the visit and act on your behalf. HMRC cannot make a visit to your premises unless it is to collect overdue taxes without prior authorisation. They do not have the authority to check your records without prior authorisation.

The notice CC/FS4 is rather misleading in that it does not define carefully a very important right that you are entitled to. This is that it is you are legally justified to refuse HMRC officer that right of access to your home or premises. It is stated in HMRC’s internal guidance manuals which are issued to all inspectors that if you or in the event that you are not there, the person on the premises has the following rights “ the right to refuse entry “ furthermore, this “ cannot be overridden”. Therefore, the person at the property is legally justified and has the right to not allow entrance to their property or premises even when an inspector has been given authority to visit the premises by a senior officer. HMRC Officers are asked to enquire because access has been disallowed to the premises and why they have been refused access. You are under no obligation to provide a reason and do not have to tell them. As part of our London bookkeeping services believes that it may help the situation to state that you do not want to allow access so that you can speak first with your accountants or tax advisor. We advise you contact and we can speak to the HMRC inspector on your behalf and diffuse the situation totally. You may wish to state to the HMRC inspector that his or her presence is having a detrimental effect on your business as you have customers on your premises or are expecting customers on your premises and this may negatively impinge on your business.

Summary :

It is the belief that you should refuse access and entry to your home or business premises if HMRC turns up unannounced with no prior appointment. You should contact us and we will speak to HMRC on your behalf. If we are not acting for you we suggest you contact your accountants as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can make it clear to the HMRC inspector that you wish to contact your accountant and they do not have the right to access the premises and that you are refusing access. You do not have to answer any questions that they may ask you. HMRC may ask you or your members of staff questions that relate to the business, but you are under no obligation to answer questions. London bookkeepers suggests that you request to the inspector that they address any queries or questions in writing and that you will answer them. Inform HMRC that you do not have to legally answer any questions in the event of an unannounced visit and that your staff do not have to answer any questions either and that any information they give may be disallowed as they may misunderstand the importance of any questions. Inform HMRC that your staff cannot be penalized if they refuse to answer any questions poised to them.

The same rules apply when you work from home. HMRC may turn up at your home if the call has been properly authorized however you have the right to not allow entrance to your home. London Bookkeepers suggest you record or video the call in its entirety and notify your tax advisors. We suggest you also record the name of the HMRC inspector who makes the call. We advise that you seek full identification from the HMRC inspector making the call and ask for a contact number that you can phone as we are aware of malicious calls being made from individuals purporting to be HMRC officials

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