How HMRC deals with small businesses

HMRCAccording to all of the news sources, yesterday was a good day for small businesses as a result of the Budget. However I know of one small business that did not have a good day. They received a bill from HMRC or the taxman for £500 that they had not anticipated. The bill was for failing to completing one of the many VAT online returns that they are supposed to complete each year. The failure took place in September 2015 and specifically relates to the levels of business transacted overseas, it is not a return that leads to any additional costs or tax collected, it is purely to allow the VAT office to reconcile its records. The usual amount listed on this return is about £600 a year, unusually last year the business transacted £7,000 worth of business as a result of one international conference that they were contracted to attend and provide a service for the organisers. After three months of the return not being made, HMRC begins to charge the business £5 a day for their failure to submit the data. After 100 days they sent a bill to the business, which arrived in yesterdays post. Despite having an exemplary record of dealings with HMRC including the VAT office, the small business is now obliged to find £500 even though since September they have never been reminded to make this return. A figure entered on the Computer that is simply a matter which helps HMRC to maintain its records. The figure of £5 a day would be applied to any company failing to enter a set of figures after a delay of 3 months, irrespective of the size of the Company. One would assume if the data was important HMRC would have reminded the Company who would have complied immediately as they did yesterday. In the meantime the Company has £500 less to pay its employees.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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