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Harwood Hutton to the rescue over HMRC enquiry

A company director who at one stage was looking at potential HMRC fines of more than £1 million and defending himself against claims of fraud has good reason to celebrate the expertise of Harwood Hutton.

The director contacted us to see if we could help him fight off an enquiry into his company’s PAYE and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) affairs. He was not confident his accountant had the required skills and he had heard good things about our tax knowledge.

It soon became apparent his accountant was indeed out of his depth and that problems had been building up over a long time.

As a result of its initial investigation, HMRC raised assessments totalling more than £500,000 payable by the company in respect of unpaid taxes over the previous four years. It also indicated there were likely to be further penalties of roughly the same amount, with interest on top.

Once we were appointed, we acted quickly to fully investigate the circumstances of HMRC’s assessments to see if we could mitigate the liability and protect the director from action against him personally.

We produced a detailed letter and a dossier comprising more than 100 pages of supporting evidence to refute many of the amounts being assessed by HMRC and to defend the director in respect of any forthcoming accusation of fraud.

As a result of the detailed response and follow-up negotiations with HMRC, Harwood Hutton helped the client settle at a much lower liability of just over £130,000 (inclusive of the interest) and a suspension of all penalties. Significantly, no accusations of fraud were levied.

For more information about Harwood Hutton’s tax expertise call 01494 739500




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Client Testimonials
  • I always get quick, clear and definitive responses from the Harwood Hutton tax team – commercial answers to commercial issues.

    Robin Berry – Morgan Management
  • Right from the outset Harwood Hutton gave us direction and great advice – and that advice has evolved over the years as we’ve grown. We’re both medium-sized companies providing a bespoke service – one furniture, one accountancy – and the relationship works.

    Andy McCarron, McCarron and Co
  • I’m deeply impressed with Harwood Hutton’s extensive knowledge of tax arrangements for residential and commercial property landlords.

    Qadeer Ahmed, MD, ABA Finance
  • They really took their time to understand what was important to us and our business and the expertise we required. Whoever we speak to at HH, we get the same fantastic response and technical input. It’s a real partnership.

    Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
  • I have worked with the directors at Harwood Hutton on a number of mutual client matters over many years. The reassurance of their clear, commercial and focussed advice is one of the main reasons I regard this as one of my most valuable professional relationships.

    Frank Wessely, Partner, Quantuma LLP
  • Harwood Hutton never seem to rest on their laurels. They are always seeking out new avenues and ways to improve their offering. A very forward-thinking company with staff who are always well briefed and who approach each task with drive.

    Karl Austen, MD, Surefoot Communications
  • We have engaged Harwood Hutton in several areas of structuring, including VAT issues, decoupling an SPV from a group structure and HMRC clearance for a transaction. The team have exceeded all expectations by being proactive, measured and very thorough.

    Adam Fawsitt, Director, FHT Limited
  • We moved to Harwood Hutton as they delivered a succinct and professional proposal. If anything, we have been more impressed post-move. They are a fantastic company to work with. They do truly differentiate. They have the skills and capabilities of a mega firm but with a personal service.

    Edward Finch, group MD, MRIB insurance brokers
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