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HMRC re-launches business records checks

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HMRC has announced that a re-launched business records checks programme will follow a new ‘step-by-step’ approach with a ‘much greater emphasis on education and support’.

The department had listened to businesses and agents and revamped the programme to make it ‘more streamlined, targeted and better focused on education’.

But the Chartered Institute of Taxation responded by warning that a ‘fundamental concern’ remains about in-year penalties for self-employed taxpayers who keep records below the standard HMRC considers adequate.

‘In our view it is questionable whether HMRC have the power to do this,’ said Patrick Stevens, CIOT president. It was unrealistic to expect smaller businesses to have perfect records written up every day.

The programme will be rolled-out region by region over 14 weeks, HMRC said.