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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

Fish and chip shop

Posts: 6538
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:22 pm

Re: Fish and chip shop

Postby King_Maker » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:09 pm

In addition to Wamstax Ltd (the owner is a contributor on this forum), there is also a useful article for the forum by Martyn Arthur (also ex HMRC) : ... ector.html

[I have no connection with either of the above.]

Ian McTernan CTA
Posts: 1232
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:02 pm
Location: Bedford

Re: Fish and chip shop

Postby Ian McTernan CTA » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:04 pm

At this stage with HMRC having the records it's a question of waiting and see what questions they come up with.

Don't answer anything verbally at this stage- in fact it is better for any and all queries to be made and answered through your accountant or investigation specialist- offhand remarks can be jumped on by HMRC leading to months of arguments. There's a fine example from one enquiry I took over on: owner stated 'there are usually 3 or 4 of us working there each week' from which HMRC assumed it was 3 or 4 people ALL THE TIME and calculated PAYE and NIC accordingly and was also looking for the 'obviously' underdeclared takings' that would support paying these staff. What the client meant was that over the total shifts, 3 or 4 people were employed to cover those shifts, but each worked a shift on their own (it's a part timers type of business).

If HMRC call you, ask them to speak to your accountant, and put questions in writing. Even if there is absolutely nothing wrong with anything at all, a misspoken comment can cause a lot of problems, which is why enquiry specialists should be used whenever possible.

Let us know how you get on.
McTernan Associates Ltd
Chartered Tax Advisers
Email through link on website:

Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:51 pm

Re: Fish and chip shop

Postby jakedamuss » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:29 pm

Thanx for all the advice.

keeping my fingers crossed and lets see what they come back with..

i will post there replie. so more HELP and ADVICE will be needed..

Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:51 pm

Re: Fish and chip shop

Postby jakedamuss » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:26 pm

Still waiting for reply from HMRC this is the worst part the waiting game :(

Posts: 1899
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Operate Nationally but based in Aberdeen

Re: Fish and chip shop

Postby wamstax » Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:03 am

For some time HMRC have been targeting Fish & Chip Shops generally and where information has become available that the "chippie" has been suppressing purchases - yes some people understate their tax deductible purchases - with the inevitable fraudulent larger suppression of sales HMRC have tended to adopt the Contractual Disclosure Facility - see

Of course it is best not to have understated your profits in the first place but if you have the bad luck to get caught engage the services of a suitably experienced tax investigation specialist and remember the ground rules in any investigation:-
(i) If you think you have got things wrong - Tell your specialist exactly what you know (and also what you think ) has gone wrong and don't keep anything back - He/she needs to know the whole facts and nothing worse than being caught out with being Spartan with the truth at a later date. Get as much down by way of notes in advance of chatting so that you do not miss out any material circumstance (as you see it). Then discuss how to proceed
(ii) if you think HMRC have got it wrong - This can happen however be very careful as they will inevitably have researched matters in depth before opening the enquiry - then discuss with your adviser how you think matters could have been misinterpreted and discuss how to proceed.
(ii) Your tax adviser if experienced in tax investigation work should be able to relate practical examples of how matters could be resolved if you have provided everything honestly and openly and advise regarding the usual problems in investigation cases e.g.
Protecting your interests and reducing your stress
Disclosure or Non-Disclosure
Co-operation or Non-cooperation
Meetings or no meetings
Payments on account or Non-Payments on account
Providing documents requested - or managing unreasonable requests
Evidencing non-taxable receipts
Dealing with technical issues that arise
Protecting you against unnecessary and unwarranted HMRC intrusion
Negotiating settlements and penalties

and of course if it gets really serious
ensuring you do not miss any opportunity or time limits
discussing your interests and the strategy(ies) for resolving issues
writing up those complex COP9 reports to avoid prosecution - when you disclose all frauds and "irregularities"
negotiating and

Remember that just because he/she has specialist in front of his/her job name does not mean that his/her fees should be too high. A good specialist will save their fees many times over in worthwhile cases but preferably should be engaged at the initial letter stage

Ensure that you know and Don't be afraid to ask about fees.

Compare the quotes you get - remember to ask if the fee quoted includes VAT (that's an extra 20% to the bill when you least expect it) and whether there are other expenses to be taken into account for example - some will charge travelling time (I don't as a matter of interest) in addition to the normal out of pocket costs. Also ensure that you understand if the adviser wants a whack up front and exactly what that covers and if you will get timesheets showing the time devoted to your case and the charges. Also how and when payment is to be made. Ok you would probably do all these things if you were buying something from a shop but the wee brown (or now sometimes white) HMRC envelope has the peculiar habit of causing stress to otherwise careful and "canny" individuals.

Remember most of all don't panic or rush about like a headless chicken there are specialists for every discipline and you can see a selection by using the "FIND A PROFESSIONAL" tab on the homepage.

Always pleased to have a chat anytime (24/7) on 07751720507
regards and hope this helps
Operates Nationally with competitive costs
and email and phone contact (mob 07751720507) can be obtained from websites

Posts: 1899
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Operate Nationally but based in Aberdeen

Re: Fish and chip shop

Postby wamstax » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:05 pm

Also forgot a few particular points in relation to a tax investigation working-

Point 1-
Ensure that you know exactly what your tax specialist is doing or saying to HMRC - you need to get it right and its not the first time I have seen advisers saying things that have little connection to the real position. The best way is for you to see all correspondence flowing between your agent and HMRC and there is no reason why your adviser should not be transparent (after all this is needed on your side). The onus is still on yourself to ensure that matters are dealt with correctly with and by HMRC.

Point 2 -
Don't abdicate responsibility for your enquiry - If you don't know what your tax adviser is doing how can you ensure that everything is dealt with

Point 3 -
If you have been fraudulent - no apologies for using the word if it is apt - and serious tax evasion is unlikely to be other than that or at least deliberate - REMEMBER stop it at once and seek advice from a suitable experienced specialist.

Point 4 -
If you go forward and disclose serious tax frauds or irregularities BEFORE HMRC come a calling (or letter writing) you can reduce the penalties substantially and also potentially avoid the HMRC's name and shame procedures - see - Naming and Shaming
regards and hope this helps
Operates Nationally with competitive costs
and email and phone contact (mob 07751720507) can be obtained from websites

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