HMRC VAT Investigations

HMRC VAT Investigations

If your business is undergoing an investigation by HMRC relating to VAT, we can help you by providing expert assistance during this complicated and often stressful process. Seeking professional guidance at this time is recommended, as the process can be particularly complicated. 

Our experienced VAT consultants have decades of experience in helping businesses to appeal HMRC investigations and we are on hand to guide you every step of the way. 

Call our helpline on 0161 477 6600, or fill out the enquiry form on this page and we will be in touch at a convenient time.

Our specialist team is available to offer expert guidance if you want to appeal the findings of a recent HMRC investigation. We will consider whether the action is justified and whether the investigation has been started without HMRC having access to all the facts. 

We often discover that HMRC investigation proceedings have been started without all of the required information being available. We also find that in many cases, HMRC has not applied the correct interpretation to a case, or failed to operate within the prescribed time limits, which can cause the investigation to be delayed. 

Whatever your circumstances, we can provide the specialist advice and assistance you need to help you throughout any HMRC investigation, including the appeals and reconsideration procedure. With our help, you could minimise both the VAT and the penalties involved. 

For assistance regarding HMRC disputes and resolution options, please click here.

Why choose us?

We have more than two decades of experience in the complex area of VAT consultancy, which means we are well placed to help you to make the most out of the VAT options available to you.
We have dealt with HMRC for over 20 years, meaning we can deliver unrivalled advice relating to HMRC VAT investigations. Find out how we have helped others in your situation by reading our client success stories.


What will happen during a HMRC visit? 

VAT officers can visit your business with the intention of inspecting your records to ensure you are paying or reclaiming the correct amount of VAT. Usually, they will contact you to arrange a visit in advance. In most cases, HMRC will confirm what information they want to see, and estimate how long it is likely to take. Sometimes, they will request to inspect your premises. 

Sometimes, HMRC can visit without an appointment and telephone you about your VAT payments. Therefore, it is particularly important that your records are always up to date and you are paying the correct amount at all times. How often you receive a visit from HMRC will usually depend on the size of your business, and whether or not you have submitted late or incorrect VAT returns before. During the visit, a HMRC representative will work alongside you to correct any issues with your VAT. They will also inform you of any additional tax and penalties you have to pay. Helping them through the process will reduce the amount of any penalty. 

What happens after the visit?

Following the visit, HMRC will write to you with the following information:

●     Steps you must take to improve your VAT record keeping
●     Any corrections you should make to your VAT account
●     Whether you are overpaying or underpaying on your VAT
●     Details of any penalty you have to pay 

You can appeal any decision made by HMRC, but you will need to do this within 30 days. Seeking advice from an expert VAT consultant is recommended.

Are online marketplaces liable for VAT fraud? 

As sales via online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon increase, sellers have been warned that, under EU law, they could be held jointly liable in the event of offending traders avoiding VAT on sales through their sites.

Some traders using these platforms have been guilty of providing an invalid VAT registration number or even neglecting to supply one at all, meaning that the sale is not charged with the appropriate rate of UK VAT. This is impacting UK VAT registered traders who are obliged by law to include the relevant VAT element on the supplies they make.

If you intend to sell goods through online marketplaces and are unsure of your VAT responsibilities, please call our helpline to ensure you are acting in accordance with VAT legislation.

Contact Us

The VAT People is available to offer expert guidance if you want to appeal the finding of a recent HMRC investigation. We will consider whether the action is justified, and whether the investigation has been started without HMRC having access to all the facts. Read more about VAT repayment claim time limits.

Contact us by calling our helpline on 0161 477 6600 or fill out an online enquiry form and we will get back to you.