|Fees Protection Service
Tax, VAT and PAYE investigations or 'Enquiries' as they are usually known, are now conducted by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) who came into effect in 2005 following the merger of two government bodies Inland Revenue and HM Custom & Excise.
With the introduction of Self Assessment HMRC are now able to 'enquire' into your accounts, tax returns, savings and lifestyle without having to provide you with any reason for doing so. The remit for these Enquiries are due to expand and increase significantly. Whilst the majority of 'Enquiries' will be for a specific reasons others will be selected at random, everyone is now at risk.
From the 1st April 2009, HMRC 'Enquiry' powers were strengthened further. These include demanding access to your home or business premises and/or demanding ANY information relating to your 'tax position' past, present or future. You have no right to appeal against this intrusion into you personal or business affairs and again HMRC have no obligation to provide you with a reason for doing so.
Bookkeeping and Cash Transactions
It is essential that you maintain accurate Bookkeeping and Cash Transaction records of all your personal and business affairs or you will run a greater risk of having an 'Enquiry' and/or financial penalties for failing to maintain the requisite records adequately, no matter how innocent your inaccuracies are.
In the event of an 'Enquiry' by HMRC, clients would normally expect us to act on their behalf. The average costs of our involvement can range from £2,000 - £5,000 dependent upon the type of 'Enquiry' and/or the size of your business. To make matters worse this unbudgeted expenditure is not allowed as a deductable expenses for Tax purposes (unless you satisfy the authorities that your accounts were correct).
Fees Protection Service Scheme
As a result of the increasing number of 'Enquiries' Marsland Nash Associates reviewed the insurance market and identified an insurance scheme which guarantees our clients against the cost of our Professional fees in the event of an HMRC 'Enquiry' (subject to the limits detailed below).
Following negotiations with Groupama Insurance, (administered by Copperfields Professional & Taxation Services) the Practice secured a competitively rated deal. The scheme is unique as claims are not dependent on the outcome of the 'Enquiry' and cannot therefore be rejected if any element of blame falls on the clients. This insurance Scheme enables the Practice to act for and on behalf of our clients during any HMRC 'Enquiry' or VAT and PAYE Inspection for free, in most instances.
The scheme allows us to represent each client (including specialist external support if necessary) to a limit of £12,000 per claim, in respect of each of the following categories:
a. HMRC in-depth Tax Investigation/Inspection
b. PAYE Compliance Inspection
c. PAYE Audit Inspection
d. HMRC VAT Inspection
e. Aspect Enquiries (to a limit of £3,000 per claim)
Companies and Directors
In addition to the protection for companies a similar level of protection is also extended to each Director is respect of their personal tax affairs provided that we act for them is this capacity.
The scheme does NOT cover clients from any payment of tax, interest or penalties arising from the HMRC Investigation or Inspection.
Fees Protection Service (FPS)
Although Marsland Nash Associates cannot protect you against the stress that will inevitably arise from the intrusion of HMRC Enquiry it can however, protect you against the financial burden incurred as a result.
The fee for this protection is billed as a SERVICE from Marsland Nash Associates and therefore is a fully allowable expense, which will usually be included with our fees for your annual accounts and/or tax return. To ensure that all our clients are treated fairly the FPS fee is based on a percentage of your Relevant Accountancy fees. It is not necessarily therefore based on our full fees.
Relevant Accountancy Fees include ALL fees incurred in preparation of your accounts, tax returns, VAT, PAYE work or other submissions which might become subject to one of the catargories of Enquiry or Inspections mentioned above.
Protection for Previous Years
It is important to note that HMRC can launch an 'Enquiry' into you business and/ or personal affairs for some time after you have filed your accounts and tax returns. The scheme offers you the added benefit of cover for previous years that are still open to an 'Enquiry' even when those years have been completed and filed. All you need to do is request cover for all years still open to an 'Enquiry' and we will issue you with a separate fee for those years.
Non Business Clients
Please remember you do not have to be running a business to be eligible to join the scheme. This means that any individual required to complete a tax return is eligible to join.
Cost and Basis for Charging
The cost is calculated at 15% of the Relevant Accountancy Fees up to a maximum limit of £435 plus VAT.
Renewal of Service
No annual renewal is necessary we will simply continue to bill you for the FPS as a supplement to our normal charges.
There is no obligation on you as a client to participate in the above scheme, however given the increased number of enquiries Marsland Nash Associates highly recommends that you do so.
Click here to download guidance notes on completing the Fees Protection Service Request form.
Click here to download a Fees Protection Service Request form.
Should you require any further information regarding the above please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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