HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has seen a 39% rise in revenue from compliance investigations during the last financial year, it was reported this week. Small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) saw fines and taxes of £434m in the 2011-12 tax year, up from £311m in the previous 12 months. The increased yield was further evidence of HMRC’s officers seeing the smallest businesses as being easy targets, according to UHY Hacker Young. The accountancy firm felt that small businesses need to be especially vigilant and wary in ensuring all tax calculations are accurate: “Small businesses are more likely to make innocent errors in their tax calculations than larger businesses, meaning the small business community offers plenty of opportunity for HMRC”, UHY Hacker Young said. New starts and innovative businesses were said to be the most prone to high levels of scrutiny, even though many will struggle to allocate time to deal with long-term investigations.
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