HM Revenue & Customs investigations and disputes

Members receive automatic cover through Markel Tax in respect of tax investigations and VAT disputes as a right of membership

HM Revenue and Customs
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Markel Tax

AOP members receive automatic cover through Markel Tax in respect of tax investigations and VAT disputes as a right of membership, in line with the terms and conditions of membership. Average enquiry settlements made by taxpayers with HM Revenue & Customs following a business tax investigation can run into several thousand pounds which includes tax, interest and penalties. In addition, considerable professional fees are often incurred in dealing with HMRC enquiries.

Free cover for AOP members worth more than £400

This free membership cover can help to reduce the potential duties by using experts, all of whom are former Inspectors of Taxes, to fight your case and you will not be faced with any professional charges. This benefit, on its own, can be worth more than £400. Check with your accountant or insurers to make certain that you are not paying them unnecessarily for this service - it could save you money.

What you are covered for

As a member, you are covered for: 

Self-assessment full enquiry

This starts when the Inspector of Taxes advises a sole proprietor or partnership that they want to examine all the business books and records which were used as a basis for calculating the taxable profits. Their letter will be accompanied by a Notice under Section 9A or Section 12AC of the Taxes Management Act 1970.

Corporation tax full enquiry

Corporation tax full enquiries involve an examination of all the business books and records pursuant to a notice issued under para 24 Schedule 18 Finance Act 1998.

Income tax and corporation tax aspect enquiry

An enquiry by HMRC under Section 9A TMA 1970, Section 12AC TMA 1970 or Para24 Schedule 18 Finance Act 1988 into one or more specific areas of the business’s self-assessment return.

Employer compliance (P11D & PAYE)

These investigations start following a visit from HM Revenue & Customs when a letter of dissatisfaction is sent which sets out additional liabilities. The service does not extend to representation by a Markel Tax consultant at the initial visit.

HM Revenue & Customs VAT disputes

This is the examination which takes place following a control visit by HM Revenue & Customs where the quantum of VAT duties is disputed. The service does not extend to representation by a Markel Tax consultant at the initial control visit.

Terms and conditions

While the service is designed to provide representation for most eventualities, there is a duty of care imposed upon members, for example if returns are not submitted to the revenue authorities within the statutory time limits then this will prevent Markel Tax from providing representation.

Other important conditions and exclusions which members should be aware of are as follows:

  • You must notify the AOP or Markel Tax immediately if you become aware of a revenue authority dispute or investigation. If you fail to do so within six months, this will exclude your claim 
  • You must disclose all relevant information to Markel Tax when requested 
  • Disputes and investigations already in progress at the time a new member joins the AOP will not qualify for representation
  • Investigations conducted by the Specialist Investigations Office, the Civil Investigation of Fraud Teams and the Criminal Investigations Division of HM Revenue & Customs or under Section 60 of the VAT Act 1994 are not eligible for representation; these cases are where the revenue authorities allege fraudulent conduct. However, Markel Tax is able to handle these cases on a fee-paying consultancy basis
  • Representation extends to appeals to the First-tier Tribunal in respect of both HMRC tax enquiries and VAT disputes where it is considered that there is a reasonable prospect of challenging an assessment or determination but not for appeals beyond this body
  • There must be a reasonable prospect of reducing the alleged arrears of additional duties for representation to be available in respect of VAT and PAYE disputes

Contact Markel Tax

If you have a revenue authority dispute or investigation, members can contact the Markel Tax helpline on 0345 250 0763.

The AOP reviews this service annually. This cover for members currently runs until 31 December 2020.

Abbey Tax rebranded as Markel Tax in 2019.