HMRC section 9a tax return enquiries - Advice from our Tax Specialist, Michael:

"We are seeing a lot more new enquiries for 2012/13 Tax Returns, following those for 2011/12.

This involves Berwick Associates (2011) LLP but feeds back to Kinsella and Keypay for many clients. 

If you get one of these investigations, it is important to make sure that HMRC commence their enquiry within the 12 month window starting from the date on which they received your Return. If they did not, you will not have to deal with the 40 questions and information requests which will include your private bank statements.

Why the rush? Because even if you submitted your Tax Return on the last date allowed 31/01/14, HMRC have until 31/01/15 at the latest to start their enquiry. Different rules apply if your Return was submitted late.

Whatever you do, do NOT ignore HMRC's letter. Excellent cooperation now could mitigate the penalties that HMRC are likely to charge you once the enquiry has been completed.

As the schemes were non-DOTAS, you can expect a Follower Notice and APN in the New Year although HMRC will give you advance warning of this. There are new further penalties for non-compliance with a Follower Notice.

You need to acquaint yourself with these matters and HMRC's website has all the information.

If you are considering settlement you must engage with HMRC before 9 January 2015 to check your options and get the best terms available."