New tax investigations threat

The Taxman will be targeting up to 30 new industry sectors for investigation by its tax task forces. Might you and your company be at risk?

Previous task forces. In 2011 the Taxman created eleven task forces to investigate businesses in sectors as diverse as the food industry and scrap metal dealers. These proved very successful at bringing in extra tax. One reason for this is because unlike normal tax enquiries, which usually focus on a single type of tax, e.g. Corporation Tax, task forces carry out a top-to-tail investigation of a company covering everything from VAT to NI.

New targets. Although the Taxman has announced that 30 new task forces will be launched over the course of the next two years, he’s keeping his cards close to his chest about their targets. However, there have been a few hints that the motor trade and the clothing industry will be first in line.

Directors’ risk. While task forces primarily investigate the accounts and tax returns of businesses, they’ll also look at transactions between directors and their companies. For example, if there’s doubt over whether an expenses payment to a director has been correctly dealt with in the company’s books, the task force will also look at the director’s personal tax return.

Reducing risk. The Taxman doesn’t have anywhere near the resources needed to investigate every company within an industry sector and so he focuses his attention on those companies he thinks show tell-tale signs of non-compliance, for example those with overdue tax returns.

Tip. Lower your company’s chances of being investigated by reducing the number of negative marks against its name. Speak with us and we can help you identify problem areas so you can rectify them.

The motor trade and the clothing industry are likely to be first in line. Details of other targets will be announced over the next two years. Use our guide to identify risk areas in your company.