They've just published their annual report and revenues are up by £38.1bn to £574.9bn. Not only are they pursuing in new and innovative ways, they've also slashed their costs by closing offices and shedding staff. The effect of this being that their ability to deal with queries has diminished. By way of example, we sent a letter to HMRC on 5th April 2017 and I had a call on Wednesday (19 July) to say that they would now deal with it. Conversely, where there is a Revenue generated issue (an enquiry), they are, in may cases, pursuing formal action within 2 weeks of asking for something. I related in an earlier article the story of our white van man being accosted by compliance officers after being flagged down by the police. Another newish idea is for HMRC to get the merchant credit and debit card records for a business. They then send a general letter which looks fairly harmless but if ignored could come back and bite if HMRC decide that EFTPOS transactions have been omitted. They are also looking to check land transactions notified by the land registry and compare those with Options to Tax and then challenge if no VAT was included in the sale. This last point is fairly obscure but illustrates the point. We have no answers other than to recommend that you are ready to make a robust defence if challenged.
A man who has to wade through treacle on a daily basis to find silver linings and missing commas.