Tax risk – a few warnings

Be careful when introducing risk into your tax affairs. This could be:

  • believing the man down the pub / woman at the golf course, rather than your qualified tax adviser
  • wanting your tax to be nil – there is at least one tax adviser who is also a magician but even he won’t make your tax disappear
  • asking “but how will HMRC find out?” – assume that they will (with their “Connect” software, they are more likely to do so than in the past)
  • paying tax (especially VAT or PAYE) late – borrowing taxpayers’ money from HMRC often ends in tears (or worse)
  • not budgeting (part of that money in your business account will be tax)
  • putting tax before commercial decisions (eg would you still invest in that company, if you were not getting tax relief?)
  • being tempted by tax schemes – they rarely work and you may lose much more than just the tax (even those successful regret it, when left with a complex and uncertain structure)
  • chasing the lowest fee – one day tax advice may be computerised and a commodity but not yet (the Finance Act 2016 added another 600 pages of legislation)