HMRC Business Record Checks programme is designed to ensure that small business owners are keeping their records up to date. HMRC wants business owners to pay the right amount of tax at the right time.
Don’t put off the paperwork - keep your books up to date
The most important thing you can do is to make sure that your business books are updated regularly. This isn’t just because HMRC require you to, but it’s also essential to know where you are in your business. When your records are up to date, not only can you pick up on crucial information quickly. You can also easily respond to any HMRC enquiries without the stress of searching for scraps of paper!
To make sure your books are up to date, ensure that:
- your bank account balance matches the balance in your accounts.
- you have issued and kept a copy of invoices for all money received.
- you have copies of receipts for all costs in your business. Remember that in most cases HMRC will accept scanned receipts instead of hard copies!
Online Cloud Accounting systems can really make the above three processes much more efficient and easy to handle.
Avoid accounting errors that trigger an automated HMRC Business Record checks
Unusual activity in your tax records or accounts could flag you up for HMRC review.
While some HMRC checks are entirely random, most are triggered by HMRC’s Central Risk team. They use sophisticated data mining tools to spot unusual activity on accounts, or trends in particular industries. For example, HMRC detects companies with activity that falls outside the normal parameters in their industry.
To keep HMRC’s systems happy, it’s important to keep your records up to date and as error-free as possible. If you’ve had a problem lurking in your books that you’ve been vainly hoping would just go away, now’s the time to ask your accountant for guidance or contact HMRC to sort it out. To keep the errors at bay and save time, try automating some of your day-to-day bookkeeping work..
File your tax and VAT returns on time
HMRC Business Record Checks are more likely to happen when your tax filings late. Making sure you’re staying on top of your tax obligations can help.
When HMRC is happy, you’re happy too!
One of the best parts about staying in HMRC’s good graces is that your business will benefit from tidy, up-to-date records. You’ll not only be ready if HMRC has an enquiry, but you’ll also know how your business is doing on a day-to-day basis.Otherwise you're waiting until the end of the month, quarter, or even tax year to find out about any problems.