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Taxman Starts Business Records Check

Newsletter issue - March 2011.

The Taxman is concerned that many small businesses are not keeping adequate records to support the entries on their tax returns. To encourage better record keeping he is taking a carrot and stick approach.

The carrot encouragement comes in the form of a number of new HMRC leaflets, and an online tool www.businesslink.gov.uk/recordkeepingcheck designed to help small businesses decide what records they must keep. These tools and leaflets contain quite a lot of jargon words and phrases, so we would recommend discussing your requirements with us.

The stick is a letter he is about to send to 50,000 small businesses, advising that they may be subject to a detailed records check.

Only a minority of these businesses will actually receive a visit from the Tax Office compliance check unit, and those visits will normally be arranged in advance. However, if your business is visited and your records are found to be inadequate you may receive a penalty of up to £3,000, which cannot be suspended even if you promise to keep better records in future.

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