“Play Your Card Right” by Gary Brothers, partner at Independent Tax

Closure notice applications are an ace up the advisor’s sleeve, writes Gary Brothers.

As many tax advisors will know only too well, an HMRC enquiry into a self-assessment return can be a long, time-consuming, and frustrating process, with Inspectors seemingly more and more eager to play their statutory cards, such as issuing formal information notices, if they don’t get their own way.

The increasing use of the heavy-handed tactics, often without any real dialogue or understanding, can cause worry, confusion or even anger for clients, and possible friction between the clients and advisors, with concerns that the Inspector is prolonging the enquiry with no good reason, or is embarking on a ‘fishing expedition’ to widen the scope of enquiries into new areas.

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