HMRC can single out businesses for random tax and VAT checks. An investigation may be unavoidable, but you can control it.

Changes in patterns or inconsistencies can alert HMRC to a potential issue. Explanatory text submitted with the tax returns will help HMRC understand the figures.

To reduce the chance of error, maintain good, accurate records and robust systems. Getting your returns and payments in on time gives you the best chance of avoiding an inspection.

You are less likely to be penalised if you have sound systems and make a genuine mistake. Errors resulting from poor systems or lack of controls are likely to result in higher penalties.

Spotted an error? Tell HMRC in writing and make the correction. Penalties can be reduced, sometimes even to nil, where you are open and honest about an error.

Get your returns in on time - delays just attract attention.

Pay your taxes and VAT on time.

Double check your figures before submitting them and keep good business records.

Tell HMRC if you've make a mistake - honesty is the best policy.


Contact our tax partner Martin by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or telephone (01793 533838) if you would like further information on handling an HMRC investigation, or a free no obligation meeting.

It is often considered an honour to act as a Trustee for a charity and an opportunity to give something back to the community. However, becoming a Trustee involves a certain commitment and level of responsibility which should not be underestimated. Whether you are already a Trustee for a charity, be it a local project or a household name, or are thinking of becoming involved, there are a number of responsibilities that being a Trustee places upon you.

The Charities sector is generally overseen by the Charity Commission. The Commission is a government department that requires the registration of most charities. The Commission plays and import role in the charity sector and is in place to give the public confidence in the integrity of charities.

A key part of the Commission's work is to provide advice to Trustees. A great deal of useful advice can be found on the Commission's website ( where there is a section dedicated to Trustees, staff and volunteers.

The Charity Commission guidance 'Becoming a Trustee' explains what it means to be a Trustee and how to become one.

The Charity Commission publication CC3 'the essential trustee; what you need to know' provides more detailed guidance for both new and existing Trustees. The guidance sets out Trustees' duties and responsibilities.

A Trustees' responsibilities are many and varied. If you would like to discuss these in more detail or any aspect of Charity accounting, please contact me.


Contact Sue on email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or telephone (01793 533838) if you would like to discuss this in more detail or any aspect of charity accounting, or if you would like further information or a free no obligation meeting.

As you begin a new year you may be looking at how to manage the business growth you envisage.

The transition of a business from small to medium sized is a challenging time for business owners, as they go from being in control of every aspect to realising the need to hand over responsibility to others.

There are some steps that need to be taken to ensure the standards which have been central to your success so far are maintained.

Finding key individuals is important, but time needs to be invested in training and encouragement to ensure they work to the high standards expected in your company. Eventually, this means that day-to-day you can refer work to people down the chain of command with confidence. This frees you up to concentrate on taking the business forward.

Atttitude is an important management skill. Its about finding solutions, not problems. You need to train and mentor your managers so they know what is expected of them. This will enable them to supply you with work to the high standards you require. They need you to allow them the freedom to then demand those same high standards from those further down the chain. This results in everyone knowing what is expected of them and being focused on maintaining the high levels you expect.

So, why do some owner-managers fall into the micro-management trap? It can often be down to a lack of confidence or a fear of loss of control, but if you put strong people in key positions with the skills and knowledge to perform well, they can provide you with a strong backbone of support and management. It is however essential that you provide ongoing training and mentoring so you are arming them with the right skills to continue to take your business forward and reward your trust.

Finally, it is important not to forget how vital it is to put robust systems and processes in place and keep them up to date. Put strong people in charge of those systems and test them regularly to ensure they remain effective.


Contact Mike on email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or telephone (01793 533838)

More than a third of South West company owners completely lose motivation to continue running their business at least once a year, according to a new study by accountancy firm Haines Watts.

This figure is slightly above the national average of 35 percent and the research is based on interviews with 514 owners of UK businesses, of at least two years old, with a turnover of between £1 million and £50 million.

Read the complete story on Business Biscuit