HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have announced that it will be launching a redesigned Business Records Checks programme that make sure small firms are meeting their tax obligations.  HMRC will be sending letters to businesses that it believes are at risk from poor bookkeeping, followed by a telephone call to discuss their records.

If HMRC decide that a visit is necessary and poor record keeping is found businesses will then be given help and guidance on how to improve their record keeping.  A follow-up visit will then take place three months later. If improvements have not been made, HMRC may charge a penalty to the business.

Richard Summersgill, HMRC’s Director of Local Compliance, said the scheme is designed to help enterprises with poor records.  “Adequate records help businesses pay the right amount of tax at the right time, thereby avoiding interest and penalties for errors and late payment, whilst also giving HMRC greater assurance when a business submits its tax returns,” he explained.

The scheme will be launched over a 14-week period, with London and Anglia  in November being the first areas to see it come into force. However, the programme will be in place everywhere by February 2013 and small businesses worried about this should seek advice from specialist accountancy firms to ensure their records are accurate.

TI Payroll and Accounting we specialise in bookkeeping and helping companies keep on top of their record keeping on a monthly basis and we are happy to offer any advice to any small business worried about the new Business Records Check that is coming into force.