Launching their latest investigation into underpayments of tax, HMRC have announced they are to target a number of contractors working in television. Thousands of TV freelancers who have their accountancy needs met through Christopher Lunn & Company will find themselves under scrutiny in the coming months. Those whose tax affairs are coming under scrutiny have received letters from , dated 17th September, which outline the reason for the investigation as “tax returns submitted to HMRC may not be correct for a number of reasons”.
HMRC detail a list of concerns which fall into two main categories. The first area of concern is excessive expenses claims including subsistence and travel. They also cited charges for accountancy services. The other area for concern, according to HMRC’s letter was that certain people represented by Christopher Lunn & Company were “routinely, and apparently falsely, claiming self-employment status by directors”.
John Cassidy of PKF accountancy firm addressed this issue in an article for www.taxation.co.uk. It is Mr Cassidy’s belief that the latter area of concern has provided the impetus for this full scale investigation as he believes that any other concerns relating to expenses would have been dealt with as a matter of course on a claim by claim basis.
The Individuals who have received letters from HMRC have been given a disclosure opportunity. They have until 30th November 2010 to disclose any unpaid tax liability, After this date, any irregularities uncovered by the HMRC investigation “will be dealt with either by criminal or civil procedures…depending on the nature of those irregularities.”