The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) has welcomed HMRC’s decision to re-evaluate the Business Records Checks (BRC) programme and place more emphasis on educating taxpayers to improve standards in record keeping, reports Harris & Co accountancy services.
From today HMRC will be looking at new ways of using the checks in five pilot areas, which will include providing advice on keeping business records via HMRC’s business education and support team.
Yvette Nunn, ATT president, said:
‘At the start of the original trial in 2011, the ATT remained unconvinced about HMRC’s assumption that 40% of SME businesses had inadequate records and we were initially concerned that BRCs were a thinly disguised attempt to raise revenue.’
Nunn said that HMRC’s early approach to BRC had given rise to problems in identifying accurately the businesses where records checks are required, with ‘far too many’ judged as having risk factors. As a result, large numbers of SMEs potentially faced ‘unwelcome and unnecessary intrusion’.
‘To their credit, HMRC have responded positively to criticism and worked with the ATT and other professional bodies to refine their approach to BRCs. As HMRC acknowledge, tax agents already do much to improve their clients’ record keeping. It is good that HMRC wants to work with us to improve standards. We are also looking forward to working with HMRC to review the benchmarks of what adequate recordkeeping should be.’