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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Two weeks for firms to get tax affairs in order, warns Cumbrian expert

Businesses are risking costly investigations if they don’t put their tax affairs in order by the end of the month, according to a Cumbrian tax expert.

HMRC recently announced it is beginning a campaign to encourage businesses that have outstanding VAT payments to submit them.

It has given companies until February 28 to submit any outstanding VAT returns and warned those still owing VAT after this date that their tax affairs will receive closer attention from inspectors.

Colin Corder, VAT manager at Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, based in Kendal, said businesses needed to act now to avoid penalties, as well as costly and disruptive visits from the tax man.

He said: “HMRC is able to compare information from various sources and will target businesses that should have sent in a return. HMRC has legal powers to take a detailed look at the financial affairs of businesses and their owners.”

Mr Corder, a former tax inspector himself, added: “If you are found to owe VAT you may face higher penalties than if you come forward voluntarily and you may even face a criminal investigation.”

“I would urge all businesses to act now to ensure they don’t have any outstanding returns as there is only a small window of opportunity to get them completed and submitted.”

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