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HMRC have extended their controversial programme of checking the business records of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The pilot focused on eight areas – Edinburgh, Irvine, Sunderland, Liverpool, Manchester, Stockport, Sheffield and Portsmouth – and found that around 44% of firms had issues with their record-keeping, while about 12% of those visited had seriously inadequate records. This has now been extended to the whole of the UK.

Initially, HMRC will levy a penalty only in the most extreme cases of poor record-keeping. The department intend to issue penalties of up to £3,000 for serious inadequacies in the longer-term.

This makes it imperative that you keep reasonable records. If any of our staff advise you on what records to keep, please be assured that there is good reason for this. We are trying to protect your interests in the face of any ever increasing tendency for HMRC to demand sight of company records. If you are unsure of what this means for you, please contact us.