HMRC to roll out Single Compliance Process for SME's

Date: 19/09/13

HMRC to roll out Single Compliance Process for SME's

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is to adopt a new approach for streamlining tax enquires for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

Known as the Single Compliance Process (SCP), the process is a framework within which the majority of future SME business compliance checks will be undertaken, catering for single tax and cross-tax enquiries.

SCP involves HMRC undertaking any of three different approaches according to identified risks and behaviours, and is likely to reduce the enquiry burden for SMEs.

The three approaches include:

> A desk based approach for cases that can be worked via correspondence or over the telephone;

> One or two-day visits to provide a simplified and faster route for those cases where a face to face visit is required;

> Unannounced visits and/or surveillance where cases suggest possible tax evasion is taking place.

The trial of SCP by HMRC was concluded at the end of March, showing that direct tax enquiries were concluded quicker, while the new process did not slow down the current process of conducting VAT visits and gave scope for more efficient working on some cases via written correspondence and/or telephone conversations.

Following on from the positive results of the trial, HMRC say SCP will now be used as the preferred method for dealing with SME tax enquiries.

For many small and medium-sized businesses, tax compliance can be a real burden, so these new measures are designed to make enquiries more proportionate, consistent and straightforward. 

Seeking professional tax advice is the best way to prevent an enquiry however, by ensuring that your business is both compliant and also operating in the most tax-effective way.

For further information, please contact Paul Wilkinson at the office.

Paul Wilkinson FCA

Author: Paul Wilkinson FCA

A former pupil at Lancaster Grammar School, Paul moved away from the area and completed his training with KPMG in Birmingham, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1989.  He returned to Lancaster and joined Scott &...

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