Tax Investigation Service

November 16, 2017


HMRC – the facts


  • HMRC has proudly announced in its most recent Annual Report that the number one objective for this year is to ‘maximise revenues due’ and to collect as much money as possible from investigation related activity.

  • A staggering £26.6bn was collected in 2016, but the target is even higher for this year at £27bn.

  • Nearly half of HMRC’s entire workforce is engaged in pursuing the taxman’s compliance and enforcement agenda. HMRC may have fewer people answering the telephone, but it is increasing the number of officers pursuing money from investigations.



Tax Investigations Service


Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are blamed for over half of the UK’s tax gap. The tax gap is the difference between the amount of money HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) collects and the amount it believes is due. HMRC believes the current tax gap is £36bn and SMEs are responsible for £18.3bn of it, partly by failing to take reasonable care to ensure their accounts are accurate.

In future years, HMRC hopes that moving to quarterly reporting under the new Making Tax Digital regime will reduce the number of mistakes made, but what is it doing now to reduce the tax gap?

  • Data gathering and analysis. HMRC has built an Enterprise Data Hub to collate and interrogate all the data and information it receives from other Government agencies, like the Land Registry, alongside other external sources such as banks and building societies. This is going to help HMRC identify suitable cases for in depth investigation

  • Scrutinising card transactions. Sales of £400bn a year are made via card and HMRC intends to exploit this data to check the accuracy of accounts submitted by SMEs and the turnover figures in particular

  • Increasing the number of specialist enforcement and compliance staff it employs. In March 2011, HMRC had 25,475 staff doing this work. By the end of March 2016 that figure had risen to 26,798, an increase of over 1,300


Subscribing to the SAS Tax Investigations Service will ensure that in the event of a HMRC enquiry, our team of specialists will be on hand - at no additional cost to you - to offer assistance every step of the way.



HMRC’s number one objective is to ‘maximise revenues due’.


The UK’s 5 million plus SMEs can expect to be the target of investigations over the coming year as HMRC looks to reduce the tax gap and deliver £27bn of enquiry generated money into the Chancellor’s coffers.

Our Tax Investigations Service is designed to provide our clients with protection against the fees arising from professional representation during such an enquiry. If you are chosen for investigation, we will defend you and you can be reassured our costs will be reimbursed. If you take out our Tax Investigations Service, we will be able to:

  • Respond to HMRC on your behalf

  • Deal with all correspondence

  • Prepare and defend your case

  • Negotiate the best possible outcome for you



Business legal helpline


As an additional benefit, we have also arranged for subscribers to receive 24/7 access to a business legal helpline. The helpline covers employment law, health & safety and commercial matters and is available 365 days a year. We believe the annual cost represents excellent value for money.



To subscribe to the service contact us today:


Tom Sterling


T: 01923 277915




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© 2016 Sterling Accounting Solutions Limited is a company registered in England and Wales under number 07787772. Sterling Accounting Solutions Limited is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Practice Assurance Scheme under registration number C004248247.