This service is offered by Avar to all its Client’s and is designed to protect and cover the risks against the “undeterminable” costs that can escalate in the event of an enquiry from HMRC, for whatever reasons.
We encourage and, in some cases, insist clients sign up to the TiPS service to ensure they are covered in the event of a tax investigation from HMRC
Without TiPS, clients will be charged on a standard charge out rate on an hourly basis (prevailing at the time), billed and settled monthly, with a deposit payment on account, at the commencement of the enquiry.
The article provides the entire details of the service.
Dealing with complaint letters (asserting rights);
Dealing with statutory demands.
Employment legislation can be a minefield and an incorrect decision could put your business into turmoil.
Therefore, the advice line can help to ensure your business remains compliant and proper, fair procedures are followed.
You can receive advice on matters including:
Check of Employer Records;
Appraisal and disciplinary procedures.
Health and Safety Advice
All businesses are required by law to undertake a full health and safety risk assessment of their premises and business procedures.
In the event of accidents, businesses could be involved in a civil claim for compensation and there could also be criminal prosecutions resulting in fines and even imprisonment.
You may receive advice on:
Undertaking health and safety assessment ;
Correct procedures in the workplace;
Understanding new legislation.
Legal Telephone Advice Services
Type of Clients
The telephone legal advice is provided by Markel Law LLP and can advise on general UK law.
Avar through its underwriters is a corporate member of Markel Law LLP. Markel Law LLP is regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Markel Law makes no additional charge for providing these telephone services. Fees incurred prior to the written acceptance of a claim.
The advice will primarily be provided by Markel Law LLP and its team of solicitors, who are ultimately managed by the Director of Legal Services (who is a lawyer), of our underwriters.
If the client has a complaint about these telephone legal advice services, they should contact the customer services manager, Markel Law LLP, Interchange, 81-85 Station Road, Croydon CR0 2AJ.
If the client is unhappy with the written response from the customer services manager, the client may contact the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, or www.legalombudsman.org.uk, or 0300 555 0333 and ask them to consider the matter.
The Legal Ombudsman will only consider matters which have been submitted to it within the earliest of the following timescales:
(a) within 1 year from the act/omission complained of;
(b) within 1 year from when the client should reasonably have known there was a cause for complaint, without taking advice from a third party and;
(c) within 6 months of the client receiving a written reply from Avar’s Service provider concerning the complaint. For the purposes of the tax investigation scheme, there are two types of client, Business and Personal;
Mini Companies (MinCo);
Small Companies (SmaCo);
Medium Companies (MedCo);
Large Companies (LarCo).
Personal tax clients (SATR).
Different levels of premium are charged to reflect the varying risk presented by these clients.
The definitions for each category are:
As an additional benefit of subscribing to the service, business clients receive unlimited access to a business legal helpline. This is a 24-hour, 365 days a year telephone advice service manned by a highly experienced team of 70 barristers and solicitors. The helpline provides a wide range of companies and organisations with commercial, employment and health and safety advice.
A business client is a sole trader, partnership or company assessable to Schedule D Case I/II for whom the practice prepares a self-assessment return.
A personal tax client is an individual for whom the practice prepares an income tax self-assessment Return.
Trusts – these will normally be regarded as personal tax clients unless there is trading income within the trust in which case the business premium should be paid.
Charities – a charity may have a PAYE scheme, possibly be VAT registered and be in receipt of trading income, so a business premium should be charged. Where none of these are present a personal premium may be paid.
Income from property – a personal tax client who is in receipt of income from property over £50,000 per annum (gross rent) will be required to pay a business premium.
Businesses with less than £15,000 turnover – sole trader businesses with annual turnover of less than £15,000 can be treated as personal tax clients.
Company or partnership – the business fee protects both the company/partnership as well as the directors’/partners’ personal returns should HMRC enquire into any of these collectively or in isolation. This is on the basis that the director/partner does not have any other income that requires payment of a business premium i.e. rents >£50,000 p.a. or any self-employed income >£15,000 p.a.
Sole traders – these are covered for both business and personal enquiries by payment of a business premium. If there is more than one business activity a further premium for each entity, at the business rate, will be required if turnover exceeds £15,000 per annum.
Additional employment/income/business – If a client has more than one trading company or partnership or self-employment, they will need to pay a separate premium for each. In addition, if they have personal rental income in excess of £50,000 p.a. (gross rent) then this will also require an additional business premium.
The Case for TiPS!
HMRC have announced record revenues in 2017/18 generating £605.8bn, an increase of 5.4% on the previous year and will be looking to improve on this growth in 2018/19.
A large proportion of this, £30.3bn, came from compliance activity into error, avoidance and evasion, 5% higher than the previous year.
These figures will continue to grow as the government has tasked HMRC to maximise the revenues due and clamp down on avoidance and evasion.
Individual customers – We have seen an increased focus on property risks for individuals, fed by information from HMRC’s Connect software. £2.7bn of additional tax was generated from compliance activities in this customer group, at an estimated cost of £320m.
These are individuals with an income below £150,000 and assets valued at under £1m.
Small businesses – Scrutiny we have seen in this area centres on transactions in cash, the level of payments made to directors and key employees and expenses of the business.
£5.4bn of additional tax was generated from compliance activities in this customer group, at an estimated cost of £525m.
This customer group comprises incorporated or unincorporated businesses with a turnover below £10m and fewer than 20 employees.
Large businesses – We have noticed HMRC change the way they risk assess large businesses and focus on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), the response to tax avoidance by multinational corporations.
£9bn of additional tax was generated from compliance activities in this customer group, at an estimated cost of £205m.
This customer group comprises incorporated or unincorporated businesses with a turnover exceeding £200m.
Wealthy individuals – We have noticed that residence and domicile positions have increasingly been challenged.
£1bn of additional tax was generated from compliance activities in this customer group, at an estimated cost of £135m.
These are defined as individuals having an income over £150,000 or assets above £1m.
Mid-sized businesses -The type of activity we have seen in this area includes cross-tax enquiries, checking the tax position across multiple taxes.
£3.5bn of additional tax was generated from compliance activities in this customer group, at an estimated cost of £225m.
This customer group comprises incorporated or unincorporated businesses with a turnover between £10m and £200m or 20 or more employees.
What You Should Know
The total yield from compliance activity in these customer segments was £21.6bn, and a total estimated spend of £1.4bn was required to bring this in.
HMRC have chosen to highlight the compliance yield and related spend because it sees these as successful outcomes.
Accordingly, we can expect HMRC to continue to invest in compliance activity across these customer sectors, perhaps focusing on improving efficiencies in those areas where the return is lower.
With ever-increasing HMRC compliance activity, the likelihood of being subject to an enquiry has never been higher.
Why Risk and Gamble on the Taxman’s Wishes
Our TiPS package offers businesses and individuals protection to ensure that in the event of an HMRC enquiry our accountancy fees in dealing with the enquiry are provided for.
Our TiPS package offers:
All businesses are required by law to undertake a full health and safety risk assessment of their premises and business procedures. In the event of accidents, businesses could be involved in a civil claim for compensation and there could also be criminal prosecutions resulting in fines and even imprisonment. You may receive advice on:
Up to £100,000 of accountancy fees ;
Full representation to HMRC on your behalf including handling all correspondence and interaction, along with attending any HMRC meetings ;
Comfort and peace of mind that we can provide a robust defence against HMRC .
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