18 Oct VAT inspections – don’t panic! 3 tips to help any business deal with them
If your business is registered for VAT then one thing that will probably stress you out more than anything else is the prospect of HMRC coming to do a VAT inspection! However, this really shouldn’t be the case. As long as your VAT accounts are accurate, up to date and the relevant information is at hand then they are nothing to be worried about. Even with all this in place though, for some business owners they can still seem daunting.
What is a VAT inspection?
In simple terms, they are a visit by inspectors from HMRC to review your VAT records and online VAT information. In the inspection, the businesses VAT records will be looked at for a few years previously and then a small sample range chosen at random to check invoices in more detail for.
How do you make a VAT inspection less stressful?
If you are worried about the prospect of a VAT inspection then here are some tips to make it all go a bit smoother:
Get the inspection scheduled when best for you
Usually, your business will get a phone call or letter informing you of an upcoming inspection and when it will be. If the chosen time is not convenient for you (i.e. it is your busiest week of the whole year) then don’t be afraid to re-schedule it. HMRC are keen to work with you so everyone has a good experience – with this in mind, you should ring up to rearrange if needs be.
Preparation is key
Any inspection of this type will go so much better if you prepare for it. Make sure your filing is up to date and you have all you may need to hand, including running any paper invoices requested from your online accounting solution. If the inspectors have let you know of any specific information they will need then have this ready as well. Doing this will create a better impression and make your life much easier.
One great tip is to be open and honest with the HMRC inspectors. If you notice a discrepancy when preparing information for the visit, don’t be scared to flag it up first yourself. If they bring up any queries then be sure to answer to the best of your knowledge. This will naturally keep you out of trouble but also show the inspectors that you are trustworthy.
Let us help today
If you need any more VAT advice then give us a call today. From VAT registration to helping with advice on VAT inspections, SQK Accountancy are ready to assist any SME or start-up who needs some guidance.