VAT visits and inspections

3 mins

Our experts at DSR Tax Refunds know how hard it is to find good, quality information about HMRC’s tax regulations that is easy to understand, and that’s why we have created these handy guides to tell you everything you need to know. Our aim is to make life easier for our clients and that is why we want to share our expertise with you. You can also call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.
What is a VAT visit?
If your business is VAT registered, VAT officers are entitled to visit and inspect your business to make sure your VAT records are in order and that that you are paying (or reclaiming) the right amount of VAT. You would normally be contacted by HMRC to arrange a visit – if they contact you in advance, you will normally get 7 days’ notice and they will confirm what information they will want to see, how long the visit is likely to take and if they are going to want to inspect your business premises while they are there. However, be warned – HMRC can visit without an appointment if they think they have grounds to, and they can also telephone you to discuss your VAT.
How often you can expect a VAT visit or inspection all depends on the nature of your business (whether it is particularly big or complex – in which case your inspections are likely to be more frequent than those for small or simple businesses). HMRC will also take into account whether your VAT returns were submitted late or were incorrect when submitted – they may be more likely to visit regularly if they consider you to have a problem with your VAT.
What happens during a visit?
During their visit, HMRC aim to work with you and your business to sort out any problems you might be experiencing with your VAT. They will also tell you if you have any additional VAT or penalties to pay as a result of any late or incorrect filing. HMRC do advise that helping them with their check will reduce the amount of any penalty you may be asked to pay,so obstructing HMRC probably won’t win you any favours.
After the visit, HMRC will write to you with the details of the visit. They will also confirm what action they think you need to take to improve your VAT record keeping and any corrections you may have to make to your VAT record. They will also inform you in writing if you are underpaying or overpaying your VAT and whether you have to pay a penalty.
If you disagree with HMRC’s decision, you do have the right to appeal against it, but you need to do this within 30 days. The letter from HMRC will inform you of what you need to do if you want to appeal HMRC’s decision.
How can DSR Tax Refunds help?
We aim to make life as simple as possible for our clients and that includes giving you the information you need to make your taxes (and your life) simpler and less stressful.  Our team of experts at DSR Tax Refunds are always on hand to help our clients and our excellent standing with HMRC means that we can make sure you don’t fall foul of their regulations, while claiming your maximum tax relief. We can even take care of all that paperwork and deal with HMRC on your behalf too. Call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.
This page was last updated on 25/10/2018.

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