VAT INVESTIGATIONS ARE NORMALLY TRIGGERED BY THREE THINGS:


1

Routine VAT inspection that uncovers irregularities;

2

Declarations and repayment claims that seem implausible when looking at VAT history;

3

Operating in a “high-risk” sector, such as alcohol wholesalers, brokers and cash and carries.

Depending on the severity of the offences HMRC suspects, they can hit you using Civil Investigation of Fraud powers or even launch a criminal investigation. HMRC may send you pre-notification of an enquiry but they can conduct an unannounced on-site inspection, as a blog of ours illustrates. Potentially the tax authorities can strip your business premises and even your home, asking you to produce relevant documents for inspection and removing goods, computers and documents. You may have to attend interviews or appear in a court of law.

HOW WILL DNS HELP ME?

DNS has provided the expertise and manpower in several cases of VAT investigation, advising clients from the moment of the notice or the minute investigators arrive. There is no doubt that in the event of VAT investigation you should have professional help; besides even should the worst happen, we can look at ways to reduce penalties or structure a more favourable payment plan.

Case history: A client was subjected to a full VAT enquiry by HMRC. The process took months, with investigators at the business premises, stock removed and business seriously disrupted. The company was on the brink of bankruptcy by the time the enquiry was over. The company’s tax investigation cover continues to work for them while they try to settle what HMRC owe them for loss of business. In the end, this case will have cost tens of thousands of pounds.

Click here to see more of the benefits of DNS Tax Investigation cover

See our blog for VAT investigations