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What powers do HM Revenue & Customs now have?       

HMRC are able to visit business premises to inspect records covering all taxes including corporate, income, PAYE, NI, Capital Gains and VAT. They can now also issue written queries before you have even submitted your annual tax returns.

Can anyone’s tax affairs be scrutinised by HMRC?

Anyone that pays tax can come under scrutiny. Every year, HMRC starts enquiries into thousands of personal and business tax returns and accounts. VAT and PAYE payments are also thoroughly checked. The aim in every case is to collect more tax.

I’ve done nothing wrong, why should I worry about a tax enquiry?

Most enquiries are generated by computer “risk profiling” and many are selected completely at random. As a result, HMRC sometimes picks the wrong targets. Even if you have done nothing wrong, the taxman will not give up and will still try hard to find errors.

How much could a tax enquiry cost me in professional fees?

The questions asked by HMRC are usually very detailed and time–consuming to answer. The costs of defending you can escalate, even if little or no extra tax is paid at the end of the enquiry. These costs are not covered by the normal annual fees paid to us.

Is there anything I can do for peace of mind?

You can subscribe to the Fee Protection Scheme which will cover you for the work and costs of defending you in the event of a tax enquiry by HMRC.

What is the Fee Protection Scheme?

It is a scheme set up by Stuart Hoare Chartered Accountants to protect its clients from HMRC queries. For a small annual premium, you can subscribe and obtain the benefits, under the scheme. The scheme is backed by an insurance policy that Stuart Hoare Chartered Accountants has arranged through Taxwise. Under that policy our professional costs incurred defending you in the event of a tax enquiry or dispute will be covered.

What are the main benefits of the Scheme?

• Stuart Hoare Chartered Accountants will defend you should you receive any correspondence or visit from HMRC

• The potentially high costs of professional fees for that defence will be claimed under the insurance policy held by Stuart Hoare Chartered Accountants

• It will not be necessary to accept unreasonable tax charges by HMRC due to concerns about professional fees

What is covered by the Scheme?

You will be fully protected by the scheme and Stuart Hoare Chartered Accountants will claim under an insurance policy which provides cover for up to £100,000 of professional costs in the following circumstances:

  • Dealing with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attendance at any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal

What is not covered?

Some costs will not be covered under the Scheme, including the following:

  • Routine compliance work, e.g. preparing your tax return
  • Overseeing HMRC whilst they review your records
  • Outstanding taxes, penalties, interest or any other amounts due to HMRC
  • Defence of criminal prosecution cases or serious fraud enquiries
  • Fees relating to pre-existing tax enquiries

What will it cost to join?

Stuart Hoare Chartered Accountants charge annual premiums that are payable by different categories of clients, Companies, business and individuals.

Who provides insurance cover to the Practice?

Insurance cover is provided by Taxwise Services Ltd, one of the top companies if this field. Taxwise have many years’ experience of providing insurance to cover professional fees arising from HMRC enquires. Taxwise Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Register number 304970). The policy is underwritten by Irwell Insurance Co Limited. (Financial Services Register number 202897).

How do I join or obtain more information?

To obtain cover under the Scheme please contact us for a quotation and further information.

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Stuart Hoare Chartered Accountants are and have always been available to give advice and to point us in the right direction. They have made numerous visits to our office to sit with us and help us out in any way that they can.

What was even more beneficial, we were also appointed with our own first point of contact, Sarah. Sarah has been a godsend for us and no matter how much grief and stress we throw at her, she just smiles, tells us not to worry and continually gets us back on track with her professionalism, attention to detail and laconic ability which we have found priceless.

Stuart Hoare Chartered Accountants have given us the confidence, followed by the ability to take our business to the next level and I could not recommend them highly enough.

Brian C


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