Self-employment has many benefits but also carries responsibilities such as reporting your income to HMRC each year so that you can pay tax.
If your business is small it might be straight forward enough for you to do your self-assessment ‘tax return’ yourself or for a bookkeeper or member of admin staff to do on your behalf, however, no matter who deals with your tax affairs it’s your legal responsibility to make sure that information provided to HMRC is correct.
Mistakes can be made, deadlines can get missed, things get overlooked, and there’s the fact that HM Revenues & Customs can do compliance checks to make sure people have paid the right amount of tax or duty at any time in the year.
If you ever find yourself with a tax debt, at the centre of a tax compliance investigation, or other problem with HMRC, don’t panic and don’t ignore it. Keep communication open and seek professional help as soon as possible.DON’T LET TAX PROBLEMS BE TAXING – HERE’S HOW TO FIND THE HELP YOU NEED Click To Tweet
You can find a registered accountant via:
- ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales)
- ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
- Chartered Institute of Taxation
- The Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA)
If you’re on a low income and need specialist tax help you can contact:
If you owe HMRC money there’s also the Business Debtline who can help you with debt.
Plus, even if they’ve made a decision already, you have the right to challenge HMRC decisions about your tax affairs; you generally have 30 days in which to do this so make sure you act quickly.
Do not bury your head in the sand. It will not go away and the consequences can be severe, including fines & imprisonment. But remember, unless there’s clear fraudulent behaviour on your part most problems can be sorted out.
Note: If you ever find yourself in a criminal investigation with HMRC, or know that you’ve acted fraudulently in any way, you should seek the help of a suitable legal professional who deals with business regulation & compliance; you can find one via the Law Society website.
Related article: HMRC – friend or foe?