Let us fight your corner and maximise your chances of successfully challenging disputes.
From time to time there will be disagreement between the taxpayer and HMRC. Sometimes it is the facts of the case that are in question but it is also often the legislation itself that is in question. Tax isn’t always black and white and where this is the case we are happy to argue your case in the strongest possible terms.
As a taxpayer you have many rights and we will ensure they are never forgotten by HMRC.
Disputes can arise in all sorts of areas outside of full enquiries and investigations including:
- Employment status disputes
- Repairs v capital disputes
- Private usage adjustments
- Capital allowances – is it plant or property?
- Settlements legislation – the classic husband and wife company scenario
- Valuations for tax purposes
- Is it a trading activity?
- VAT segregation of businesses to avoid registration
- Employee benefit disputes
We have the specialist tax knowledge to assist with a wide range of tax disputes.
Tax Enquiries and Investigations
Need help fighting tax authorities?
It is an unfortunate fact of business life that you may well come under enquiry by HMRC through no fault of your own or of your accountant. HMRC now investigates businesses at random as well as for specific reasons. A full investigation is not a pleasant experience for anyone. Without expert defence it is possible to get trampled all over.
If you are selected at random, you need an accountant who knows how HMRC works and thinks and is prepared to fight your case. We make sure that the tax authorities keeps to their own internal guidelines and don’t over step the mark. We will talk you through the enquiry process and what to expect and support you throughout.
There are various penalties HMRC can seek to impose following an enquiry for undeclared income. As well as having to pay the tax, you can find them seeking penalties up to an amount equal to the tax, so doubling your tax bill. Interest on the late payment of the tax is also part of the arrangement – not a pleasant experience. We can help you minimise these penalties.
Anti-investigation Scanning Checks
Whilst with random investigations anyone can come under enquiry, you can help to avoid the chance of an investigation into your affairs for other reasons. We know the triggers that often give rise to enquiries if not fully explained to HMRC when submitting Returns to them.
Every Tax Return or set of accounts we submit to the tax authorities goes through an anti-investigation scanning check to identify any areas that may lead to an enquiry before they are submitted without explanation. This really does help to minimise the chances of you being on the wrong end of an enquiry.
You are entitled to arrange your affairs to pay the absolute legal minimum amount of tax.
Whilst completion of tax returns and statutory tax obligations are important jobs, all accountants should be capable of completing them and advising you of your tax position and liabilities.
We try to do more than just this and are interested in maximising your tax planning opportunities.
We all have to pay our taxes but within the legal framework there are numerous ways of saving tax and making sure you do not pay a penny more than is absolutely necessary. We have extensive experience in this area of work and always fight as hard as we can for our clients.
We can help with tax planning in relation to:
- Personal taxes
- Business taxes
- Tax efficient employee remuneration strategies
- VAT planning
- Inheritance Tax strategies
- Capital Gains
- Profit extraction strategies
- Exit strategies
- Employment status
- IR35 advice
Apart from extensive experience in this arena, we have invested heavily in reference materials and specialist software and have access to the Tax Legislation, Tax Cases, to the internal manuals of HMRC and to detailed commentary on all taxes, direct and indirect. This allows us to research any tax topic at all and provide many ways of helping you legally save tax.
New clients are often surprised at how much can be done to help with their tax position. We are always willing to go that extra mile to offer advice on the areas where tax can be saved. We enjoy this work!
It is important that this work is done in advance and you should contact us as soon as possible.
All of our Tax Planning makes legitimate use of the Tax Legislation and Case Law, so that you are not put at additional risk from a full HMRC Enquiry, or where there are risks, these are pointed out to you.
Tax Returns and Self-Assessment
Who said Tax doesn’t have to be taxing?
Tax Returns can be completed for…
- Individuals and sole traders
- Limited Companies
The self-assessment regime is full of penalties and HMRC enquiry powers are extensive. It’s important that…
- Returns are correctly completed
- They are filed on time
- All backup records are retained for the appropriate period of time
Personal tax services are available both for business owners and private individuals including:
- All aspects of Self-Assessment
- Dealing with Tax Returns
- Tax enquiries
- Computation of liabilities
- Tax disputes
- Correspondence with HMRC
- Inheritance tax planning
- Tax Investigation Fees Protection
Contractors and IR35
The tax authorities lose most IR35 disputes!
Please contact us if you would like a free consultation to discuss the tax advantages of contracting in more detail and the different possible scenarios.
We offer all-inclusive services for contractors including…
- Company formation
- Annual Accounts
- Company tax returns
- Personal Tax Returns
- Company secretarial service
- VAT Returns
- PAYE Returns
- Tax computations
- Review of contracts for IR35 status
- Provision of anti IR35 draft contracts
- Dealing with IR35 disputes
There are many factors to consider in deciding if a contractor is caught by the notorious IR35 legislation.
Fundamental factors to consider:
- The right to get a substitute or helper to do the job
- Mutuality of obligations
Other factors to consider:
- Provision of equipment
- Financial Risk
- Basis of Payment
- Opportunity to profit from sound management
- Part and parcel of the organisation
- Right of dismissal
- Employee benefits
- Intention of the parties
- Length of engagement
These are often matters of general employment law, and not specific tax legislation. There is an enormous amount of Case Law in this area and the tax authorities are not always right. They do not have the final say on whether somebody is caught by IR35 or not. We can argue your case for you.
The cost of employees and employers national insurance if you get it wrong are considerable as well as interest and penalties.
We can review your existing arrangements and give you our opinion on whether it will stand up to attack from the Revenue. We can help draft contracts for services to assist you and advise on how you can maximise your chances.
Inheritance Tax Planning
Avoid paying tax again on wealth you’ve accumulated and been taxed on already!
Tailored wealth succession planning enables a smooth transition to the next generation as well as minimising tax liabilities.
We can advise…
- Individuals whose estate planning is close to the nil rate band or many times larger
- Techniques to mitigate inheritance tax on family homes, family businesses and investment portfolios
- On both lifetime transfers and wills
However, estate planning is not solely about tax and we adopt a common-sense approach, helping you to ensure your own financial needs are met and to avoid ‘giving away too much too soon’.
Are you a buy to let investor or property dealer or developer?
Property tax is complicated and we can advise you on issues such as:
- Tax reduction strategies for rental income
- What is a repair and tax deductible and what is capital and not
- When to use a Limited Company to save tax
- Trading income versus Capital Gain considerations and advice
- Capital Gains rollover and holdover considerations
- Stamp duty planning
- Tax efficient mortgage structures
- VAT considerations of property deals
- Making the most of the Principal Private Residence election
- Tax issues on the sale of part of your residence
- Second homes
- Inheritance Tax considerations
Capital Gains Tax -60 day reporting
Since April 2020, there has been a requirement to file a capital gains tax (CGT) return and pay the related capital gains tax within 60 days of completing on a disposal of an interest in residential property if certain criteria are met.
Penalties are imposed if the filing is submitted late and interest will accrue for late paid tax.
This requires advice before or soon after the transactions. For assistance from our expert team, please get in touch.
Tax Investigation Fee Protection
Worried about the accountancy fees of a tax investigation?
HMRC has powers to investigate income tax and corporation tax payers at random.
With the ever-increasing risks of full tax enquiries and investigations, it’s worth considering protecting yourself from the accountancy costs of dealing with it as the amount of work involved is often substantial.
You can get cover for the following…
- Self-assessment enquiries
- VAT enquiries
- PAYE and benefits enquiries
- IR35 enquiries
Even if HMRC finds nothing as a result of any investigation, you will still have unexpected professional fees to pay as a result.
We cannot prevent you from being investigated by the tax authorities, but we can help to ensure that you get the best possible support and advice without having to worry about the cost.
Working with you
Whether you're starting from scratch or have been in business for years you'll benefit from working with FFT advice on how to take you to the next level.