A (tax) Inspector Calls – part 1

Ring-ring, ring-ring, ring-ring…
You answer.

It’s a lovely sounding lady from HMRC, your business has been chosen for a tax audit and they’re coming tomorrow. It’s going to be a long day… and night!

“Are you alright?” your secretary asks, she spotted your pale grey pallor and sweaty brow the moment you stopped to loosen your tie.  It’s a physiological reaction, that slightly sick pit-of-the-stomach feeling that comes with knowing you are not properly ready for something.  They’re going to want to scrutinise  everything. It’s going to be a long day… and night.

“Get me all our tax records for the past 3 years,” you bark, knowing full well that they’ve just been slung in a filing cabinet at the back of the office. Moments later, an unsavoury looking pile of papers is dropped on your desk.  “That’s all of it,” says your secretary. You take the coffee stained invoice from the top and begin the long, slow task of putting them in some kind of chronological order.

3 hours later, you’re fairly sure the run from January to December, you just know they’re not all there.  You pull up the last years accounts on your monitor and begin the long painful slog of tallying your ‘archived’ paperwork to the Tax return submitted.

If that was all the paperwork there’s a fair bit missing.  Plenty of space for the Tax Inspector to question the evidence for your last accounts, so you call the accountant, he must still have some of the paperwork. It goes to answer phone, then you remember he’s gone to The Gold Coast for three months, to his winter retreat.  This could be costly…

Find out in part 2 tomorrow how it could all have been so different.