HMRC are coming as sure as eggs are eggs

Those of you who have met me or have listened to a few of my webinars or presentations will know that this is one of my favourite sayings; somehow ‘sure as eggs are eggs’ always seems to find its way in despite my best endeavours.

For me it sounds so much better than saying “without any doubt”, and in the context of increased HMRC enquiry activity post-Covid, be in no doubt whatsoever that enquiries will happen.

The economy has taken a massive hit and billions has been made available to businesses and the self-employed via grants, loans and schemes. So quickly were all these introduced, due to the urgency of the situation, that very little security was introduced at the application stage. In fact, it was almost made a virtue of, as the rush to get the funds out took a hold.

The result, and many will say the inevitable result, is that reports abound of fraud in relation to each and every initiative. And as the government will struggle with replenishing its coffers there is no doubt that HMRC will be looking to claw back losses.

This is not rocket science; it’s obvious, and what we need to understand is that HMRC like any business will look to recover as much as possible for as least cost as possible. In HMRC’s world, small businesses and the self-employed are the easiest target because they don’t have the budget to keep facing down excessive demands, and the financial imperative to broker a deal rather than continue fighting and hope for a positive outcome comes more easily into play for them.

This means that they will be coming after OUR clients. No sector is likely to be exempt, because virtually every sector received some form of help. That being said, knowing full well that HMRC will be out and about with a vengeance, and our clients will be targeted, surely now is the time for you to secure a fee protection scheme for your practice.

Fee protection schemes carry a cost, but here at ICPA our relationship with Vantage Fee Protection means we can offer a significant cost reduction to our members. This is not just because we have lots of members, but because Vantage already provide the helplines to our members that we at the ICPA pay for. These are the same helplines that will be made available with every fee protection scheme, so there is already a cost saving that can be passed on to our members, and our members only.

Never has there been a better time to look into a fee protection scheme if you currently don’t have one, or if you have a non Vantage one, to see what saving you can get by switching.

HMRC enquiries will increase, they will be more intrusive, and they will be targeting your clients. They will have a bigger budget than your client UNLESS they have a fee protection scheme and that, as we say, “is as sure as eggs are eggs”.

So go to the website, follow the links and see how little it will cost, how you can easily recover that cost AND make a profit, or how much you can save courtesy of your ICPA membership and Vantage Fee Protection.

• Tony Margaritelli, Chair, ICPA

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