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The importance of knowing your rights

  • 6th March 2014

The importance of knowing your rights

When faced with a tax enquiry many people place their trust in HMRC, believing that the tax officials will act within their powers. However, a recent tax case involving a medical practitioner highlights the importance of knowing your rights and of standing up to HMRC when they stray outside their remit.

Dr Long worked as a locum and in private practice. HMRC opened an enquiry into Dr Long's tax return and in responding to HMRC's queries Dr Long realised that she had omitted to include some cash income from private patients in her return.

She made HMRC aware of this ASAP. HMRC then requested additional information from Dr Long including her business  appointments diaries. Dr Long refused to provide these on the basis that they included confidential information. HMRC issued a formal information notice under which Dr Long would be liable to penalties if she did not provide the information. Dr Long appealed against the notice to the tax Tribunal.

The tax Tribunal upheld Dr Long's appeal finding that, as the diaries did not contain any financial information, and as they did not provide an accurate record of patients seen, etc, they were not reasonably required to check her return.

The rules on enquiries contain a number of important safeguards for taxpayers, not least that HMRC many only insist on the provision of information that is "reasonably required." If you have discovered an error in your tax return and need to inform HMRC, or if HMRC have opened an enquiry into your tax affairs, BW Medical Accountants can help you get the best result for you.

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    Practice Manager
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    Senior Partner
    Benfield Park Medical Group, Newcastle
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    The service we receive and the interest they show in our practice assures us that they have a genuine interest in us and commitment to us.  More importantly they are always helpful and polite to answer even the dumbest of questions!  They give us confidence and reassurance knowing that they are always very up-to-date with all the numerous changes within general practice and we would have no hesitation in recommending them to other practices seeking a professional and personal accountancy service.

    Jackie Rotherham, Practice Manager
    The James Street Family Practice, Lincolnshire
  • We moved to BW Medical Accountants in 2013 and we are delighted that we have.  Having been in the same business for over 20 years it is important to have a relationship with the accountancy team but most importantly you need to have trust.  We made the decision to move our business to BW Medical Accountants and having worked with the Team especially Tina we are very satisfied.  Tina going through the accounts brought to our attention many things that I was not aware of in the past.  The first years' experience can only be described as excellent.

    Customer service is first and foremost with BW and this shines through as each and every one of them are approachable, helpful and most importantly understand and know the business.  General practice is complex and is going to get more complex in the coming years.  We need Accountants who truly understand our business. We as a practice and as individuals would certainly recommend BW Medical Accountants.

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    Westbourne Medical Group, Sunderland
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