Following the satisfactory outcome to an enquiry in which H M Revenue & Customs were looking for millions of £pounds from him, the client – who had to make no payment whatsoever – recommended Cobham Murphy Limited to an associate trader who was under intense tax investigation. That trader was a limited company owned and operated in the United Kingdom by a family who had emigrated from the Middle East to make a life for themselves here. Its core business centred on the import and export of machinery, principally between the United Kingdom and Syria. The local office of HMR&C had undertaken an investigation of the company’s Corporation Tax Return which had run on for many months and had become increasingly difficult for the Directors to contend with.
The company’s accountants, a prominent firm in the locality, had not demonstrated any expertise in dealing with H M Revenue & Customs and had become nothing more than a post box for the ever-expanding, wide-ranging list of questions that came from the investigators and costs were mounting alarmingly. HMR&C transferred responsibility for the investigation to a high-level Fraud Enquiry Office with an expectation of recovering at least £500,000 from the company. At this stage Cobham Murphy Limited was instructed and, having met with the Directors to obtain an understanding of how the business was operated and examined the case papers to date, accepted the assignment to deal with all HMR&C matters.
Cobham Murphy Limited researched all of HMR&C’s concerns and quickly confirmed that the Directors had no disclosures of irregularities to make to the investigators. HMR&C was reluctant to accept the position but, following a meeting at which the frailties in their arguments were exposed by Cobham Murphy Limited, they accepted that the investigation should be concluded with no payment of tax, or other duties whatsoever, by the client. Clearly, as the investigation had progressed, their accountants had not taken control of the situation and had allowed HMR&C to run roughshod over their client.
HMR&C investigations need to be dealt with by experienced, committed professionals such as Cobham Murphy Limited who are not afraid to challenge HMR&C in such cases.