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Tax & Accountancy Services in Sittingbourne

There is an increasing need for specialist advice to be taken when confronted with an tax enquiry or investigation, particularly given the resources and data available to HMRC. We provide a discreet and comprehensive approach to individuals and businesses who are subject to HMRC attention, or who have a tax problem to resolve. We will explain the options available to you, and provide a tailored approach to reach a solution.

We provide assistance across the range of HMRC enquiry and investigation work – some of the areas where we can assist clients are listed below:

Tax investigations

Businesswoman Doing CalculationsHMRC’s enquiries and investigations can take many forms. From an enquiry into a particular aspect of a client’s tax return, to a full-blown interrogation of their business records. Whatever type of HMRC action clients are faced with, we will ensure that the inspector only gets the information and documents he is entitled to.

HMRC have access to a wide and extensive database of information, and have sophisticated software, called Connect, to assist their risk-profiling of taxpayers. Where profits or income are understated, we will consider how the additional tax liability can be mitigated, and advise how penalties can be mitigated. We can help you ensure that processes are changed, where necessary, to minimise the risk of problems in the future.

We do not sit in moral judgement, but work with our clients to minimise the impact of a HMRC enquiry. We can work with your existing adviser, if you have one, to bring the enquiry to a conclusion. We will establish the facts, so that we can best represent you, and bring about a negotiated settlement with HMRC where it is established that there are additional tax liabilities.

We will consider the technical position, and also apply a practical approach. We recognise HMRC’s right to enquire into tax returns, but we will ensure that they do so within the statutory framework.

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Fraud investigations (Contractual Disclosure Facility, Code of Practice 9)

investigations-magnifying-glassHMRC uses the Contractual Disclosure Facility (operated under Code of Practice 9) when investigating cases of suspected fraud. The process is fraught with dangers, and specialist advice is essential. Although the CDF is a civil process, the threat of criminal investigation remains for those who do not co-operate. The investigations are conducted by officers from HMRC’s Specialist Investigations’ units, or their Local Compliance teams.

Under the process, HMRC write to a taxpayer and invite them to participate in the CDF. The taxpayer has a limited time (60 days) to decide whether to admit fraud and to submit an outline disclosure of the fraud. Taxpayers who decide to co-operate will be given immunity from prosecution providing they meet certain criteria, and adhere to various deadlines.

Failure to co-operate, or not doing anything, may result in HMRC commencing a criminal investigation, or, at the very least, any penalties imposed will be significantly higher than would otherwise be the case.

Not all cases of suspected fraud are dealt with via the Contractual Disclosure Facility. In some instances, HMRC commence a criminal investigation rather than giving the taxpayer the option to enter an agreement under the CDF.

The Contractual Disclosure Facility may be used where there is a voluntary disclosure involving tax fraud.

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imagesAvoidance investigations (Code of Practice 8)

These investigations are conducted by officers from HMRC’s Specialist Investigations’ units. The cases typically involve complex or technical issues, which are outside the scope of HMRC’s local office network.

Typically involving offshore issues, Code of Practice 8 investigations require careful, and specialist, handling to ensure the best possible outcome for the taxpayer. The investigations usually start with HMRC seeking a substantial volume of information and records. Advice should be taken as soon as the initial letter is received, to ensure that an appropriate response is sent.

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Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility


The Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) is a process that enables taxpayers (including individuals and companies) with unpaid UK tax liabilities to regularise their tax affairs on, usually, preferential terms, compared to other disclosure options.

The LDF closed to new registrations on 31 December 2015, and cannot be used to regularise your tax affairs unless you registered before that date.

If you have registered for the LDF and need assistance with your disclosure, we can assist you. We have extensive experience of helping clients through the process. The benefits that you will receive under the LDF will depend on your particular circumstances. We can establish the options available to you. In all cases, taxpayers will benefit from immunity from prosecution for tax offences (providing a full disclosure is made).

If you wanted to register for the LDF but missed the deadline, we can advise you on the options available.

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Other disclosure facilities

Aside from the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility, HMRC has various other processes available for taxpayers to regularise their tax affairs.

The terms of the facilities are, usually, similar, although none of those currently on offer provide immunity from prosecution (which is available under the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility). We can advise you on the options that are available to you.

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Tax calculator and penStatus enquiries

HMRC may challenge the status of self-employed individuals working for a business. There is not a defined list of circumstances that will mean an individual is accepted by HMRC as being self-employed. We can review a business’ existing arrangements, or provide assistance in the event that HMRC challenge the status of an individual, or group of individuals.
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Mayflower Thai Massage Image1Criminal investigations

The number of criminal investigations conducted by HMRC has increased considerably in recent years.

Once a criminal investigation has been started it can be very difficult, although not impossible, to get the case transferred into the civil regime. Where a criminal investigation is pursued, we can assist in quantifying the tax liability. We use specialist barristers knowledgeable in tax prosecutions for clients faced with criminal proceedings.

If you are subject to a HMRC dawn raid, whether at your home or business, we can provide support, and introduce you to specialist lawyers.

We can provide training for clients who wish to know what to do in the event of a raid.

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TaxesAppeals and Tribunals

Our aim is always to resolve matters with HMRC by negotiation, wherever possible. There will be situations, particularly where there are tax planning or complex technical issues, where resolution will need to be achieved through a formal route. Such cases may need to be heard at the Tax Tribunal. We can advise you on the relative merits of taking that course of action, and your chance of success, and also any alternative courses of action.

Residence and domicilephil berwick tax

Enquiries into residence and domicile have increased in recent years, as HMRC tackle the potential for errors and abuse. The rules surrounding residence and domicile can be complex, and it is easy to fall foul of them, potentially creating a tax liability.

It is important to take specialist advice, particularly as the amounts involved tend to be significant, and penalties for offshore liabilities can be up to 200% of the tax.

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Example berwick tax workVoluntary disclosures

Taxpayers wishing to make a voluntary disclosure to HMRC need to carefully consider the various options available to them. Specialist advice should be taken before contacting HMRC, as making the wrong approach could be very damaging, and result in a criminal investigation being commenced.

We can advise on the disclosure options available, and make the necessary contact with HMRC to minimise the likelihood that they will commence criminal proceedings.

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Berwick Tax,
Suite 12, St George's Business park, Castle Road Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3TB
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