How to avoid a tax enquiry

Posted by / February 4, 2015 -

So the filing deadline for self assessment tax returns has passed and accountants all over the land are recovering from the last minute rush. There is no doubt that January and the couple of months leading up to the deadline are the most stressful for tax payers and accountants alike.  It is however not as stressful as having the HMRC enquire into your tax return. If you want to know why we hit our deadlines and get some top tips on how to avoid the stress of an enquiry then please read on…..


There are many reasons why HMRC may enquire into your tax return. There are also different types and levels of tax enquiry.  You may be in an unusual business for example or you could simply be chosen at random. These are our tips for avoiding an enquiry as any activity at all is likely to cost you time and money in dealing properly with HMRC.

  1. Be punctual – Don’t file your accounts or return late and make sure your accountant has the required records in good time. So many enquiries are started due to accountants rushing returns on the run up to January 31st and making mistakes.
  2. Use the white space – The self assessment return has several areas of “white space” for you to add information. We use this all of the time to provide information on dividends or calculations in order to answer the questions before they are even asked. Its really important to use the “white space”.
  3. Keep good records – If you have good records then any question asked can be answered quickly and so “kill off” the enquiry early and quickly
  4. Get a really good tax adviser – Like Park Lane Accountants for example. The difference between trying to deal with HMRC yourself and using us is HUGE. We have the experience to ensure that the enquiry is fair and we are used to dealing with HMRC.
  5. Get some insurance – You can get insurance to protect you and cover your professional advice. This will enable you to access the best people and give you the resources to deal with HMRC. Park Lane Accountants provide this free for 12 months for all new clients.

So there you have it. 5 tips on self assessment and avoiding the HMRC.  If your accountant is late then they may be putting you at risk of an enquiry. If you want an accountant who is going to ensure that you and your family are protected and informed then please contact Park Lane Accountants Chippenham on 01249 247160 or email us

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