Top 10 tips to avoid a tax enquiry

By Steven Pinhey, Tax Director

Investigations and enquiries by HM Revenue & Customs can be stressful, costly and time consuming. Let’s face it, they’re something we’d all rather do without.

Our Tax Disputes and Resolutions Director, Steven Pinhey, gives his 10 top tips of things to do to minimise the chances of you being one of those people getting a nasty letter from the taxman.

  1. Let your accountant have your books and records early! (Everything stems from this!)
  2. File your accounts and tax returns on time.
  3. Ensure all your income and capital gains have been disclosed.
  4. Keep all your supporting paperwork to show where the figures in your accounts and tax return came from.
  5. Use the 'white space' on tax returns to explain anything unusual or where further information is needed to understand an entry.
  6. Avoid using estimates.
  7. Ensure any opening balances or carry forward figures are correct such as brought forward losses.
  8. Keep cash transactions to a minimum.
  9. Don't use aggressive tax schemes.
  10. Be careful not to be implicated by association; and finally …
  11. (Bonus point…) If you should receive an enquiry letter from HMRC, let your accountant know immediately!

Steven can be contacted on

Blog archive