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This week's opinion

27 October 2015
Issue: 4524 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

The importance of good record-keeping.

I am pleased that HMRC are winding down their business records checks programme. We spend a lot of time encouraging clients to keep good records and none of us wants to do anything that detracts from that message but there was widespread concern that the programme was not fully thought through. For example was a records check an enquiry? Technically it probably was not but it would have felt like it to the clients undergoing one.
HMRC’s conclusion for ending the pilot (I had forgotten that it was still officially a trial) is that the quality of records reviewed was better than expected. Was that because general standards were higher than anticipated or because the right businesses were not targeted? I have a lingering suspicion that many in HMRC tend toward the latter view; tax agents may reach the opposite...

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