Tax investigation insurance specialists PfP say that HMRC has collected an additional £3.3bn from SMEs, after enquiring about underpaid VAT.
PfP said that two newly created HMRC units had been tasked with carrying out the investigations: the Individuals & Small Business Compliance unit, and the Wealthy & Mid-sized Business Compliance unit. VAT is a key area of focus for HMRC, and there are a number of further inquiries planned to follow.
Kevin Igoe, managing partner of PfP said: “VAT investigations into SMEs have proven incredibly rewarding for HMRC.
“The figure will be driven by a combination of carelessness, genuine error or misunderstanding, as well as deliberate and calculated underpayment.
“Whilst the vast majority of SMEs are compliant, the actions of a rogue few mean that HMRC is likely to look closely at the tax affairs of all over the coming months. Many innocent business owners are likely to find themselves under close scrutiny as the Revenue looks to weed out any remaining underpayment.
“It is therefore paramount tax records and systems are in order. Any uncertainty over when and how much VAT should be paid should be cleared up via professional advice, or clarification from HMRC itself.”