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HMRC have recently commenced enquiries into R & D claims made by companies, in particular claims made by companies offering specialist R & D claim services have come under scrutiny with some arrests being made over alleged fraudulent R & D claims.
HMRC will also be sending over 3,000 ‘nudge’ letters reminding company Directors to review the claims that their company has made, company Directors are still responsible for the claims made by the company even if they engaged a specialist firm to make the claim. There is an opportunity to amend claims before HMRC launch a formal investigation.
Fortunately most investigations do not lead to prosecution and if handled carefully can lead to HMRC either agreeing the original claim or agreeing a revised claim figure with interest and possibly penalties for late payment.
R & D investigations can be complex and specialist advice is required form the outset, they can take the form of a standard enquiry or an enquiry using the Contractual Disclosure Facility.
HMRC will undertake a thorough examination of the claim submitted by your adviser and expect supporting evidence and clear explanations to be made about the claim that was made.
This will include checking the calculations and possibly wanting to speak to you about the R & D project and the adviser you used to make the claim.
It is possible to make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC and in certain circumstances receive assurance you will not be prosecuted.
Making a voluntary disclosure gives you the best opportunity to reduce penalties and negotiate the best possible outcome with HMRC if you have an R & D problem.
There is no legal obligation to attend any meetings with HMRC in a civil investigation but, with proper representation and assistance a meeting with HMRC can help to clear up many problematic areas.
You should think carefully before declining to cooperate with HMRC on the issue of a R & D investigation as you will lose your opportunity to present your point of view and negotiate with HMRC.
In most cases a revised claim will be agreed, interest will be charged on any overclaimed tax and HMRC will consider a penalty. HMRC will also consider negotiating time repay the overclaimed tax.
If you have been contacted by HMRC and you know that there is an issue with your R & D claim then action is required to address the problem, if you don’t think there is a problem then you should still undertake a critical review of the claim so you can show HMRC the claim is correct. How matters are dealt with initially can have an effect on many aspects of the enquiry.
If HMRC have not been in contact but you know that there is an issue with regard to your R & D claim, it is better to make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC. This makes significant difference to things like penalties and how HMRC perceive matters.
There are several ways that a voluntary disclosure can be made but most will either be using HMRC disclosure facilities whether this be the Digital Disclosure Facility or asking for HMRC to accept you into the Contractual Disclosure Facility.
Gilbert Tax has extensive experience in dealing with HMRC R & D investigations and helping clients get through the stress of an HMRC enquiry for both people who have made errors and those HMRC accuse of making errors where none have been made.
Gilbert Tax have an expert team ready to assist you with any problems that arise with HMRC if you are subject to criminal prosecution then we can assist with that also.
To speak to someone about this at Gilbert Tax Craig Tully is the dedicated partner so please email him directly at email@example.com call 07786 226013.
All communications are confidential, and no charge is made for the initial discussion.
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Non-judgemental. We are here to help, not to judge
Rigorously defend your position within the scope of the law
Take control of the HMRC investigation
Efficient process to achieve the closure of your investigation
"We understand that people sometimes make mistakes in their dealings with HMRC and that HMRC make mistakes in dealing with taxpayers. Many people do not know how to deal with HMRC or who to turn to for help resolve the tax dispute.
Our firm of tax advisors specialise in resolving people's problems with HMRC. We have extensive expertise in dealing with all forms of tax investigations and tax disputes as well as with taking matters to the Tax Tribunal where agreement cannot be reached.
We deal both directly with the individual who is under enquiry and also work with many firms of accountants supporting them in dealing with HMRC disputes and advising them on how to handle HRMC to get the best result.
The fact is that proper management of HMRC is the best way of reducing the tax, interest and penalty as well as the time taken in resolving any tax dispute.
Our expert team are none judgemental and rigorously defend your position within the scope and parameter of the law. We take control and manage the process to minimise the interruptions that any form of tax investigation causes to an individual's life and business."