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HMRC Business Records Check Programme – Help is at hand

HMRC recently announced a new initiative designed to keep SME’s within the boundaries of business records legislation. They believe “over 2 million businesses do not keep sufficient records, despite legal requirements to do so.” So how can you be sure your business adheres to the guidelines?

Caroline Blake, partner at McLintocks comments “Until now HMRC have only reviewed the tax affairs of a business if it thinks it is paying too little tax. Now for the first time HMRC can carry out inspections purely to look at the standard of record keeping and, if not up to their standards, impose fines. They aim to raise an extra £600m for the Exchequer from unpaid taxes and fines by doing so. The HMRC Business Records Check Programme should be taken seriously by business owners. Mclintocks are offering clients an overview of their existing records, followed up by bookkeeping support where necessary. This will no doubt save clients from the worst of the newly imposed penalty regime…

The programme is scheduled to start in the second half of 2011, and HMRC projections show they are looking to carry out 50,000 checks annually for the next 4 years. With a penalty of £3,000 for those businesses which do not meet the required standards for book-keeping, it is essential that SME’s review their accounting systems and the legislation issued by HMRC.

In recognition of this, a suite of resources have been developed by HMRC to help business owners meet the required standards.

The HMRC website states “there is something for everyone – from basic factsheets to online tools”. Included within the resources are factsheets, links to independent information, sample record-keeping systems, guidelines and legislation.

Many business owners are busy running their businesses and don’t have time to search through and use the tools available on the HMRC Website however, and this is where we can help. McLintocks can run preliminary checks on your business records to advise you on meeting the requirements of HMRC, and subsequently produce a strategic plan for implementing any changes required.

If you would like to know more about the HMRC Business Records Check Programme, are concerned about how it will affect your business, or need guidance on compliance, call your McLintocks advisor on 0845 680 7800.

 

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