Business Records Checks Relaunch

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has relaunched its Business  Records Checks (BRC) programme, with the promise that it will adopt a more  business-friendly approach.

In April 2011, HMRC began its pilot programme of checking  the adequacy of the statutory business records of small and medium-sized firms.  However, the programme was suspended in February 2012 following widespread  criticism from industry groups.  The programme has now been redesigned, with a greater  emphasis being placed on education and support.

Under the new ‘step-by-step’ approach, HMRC will initially  send letters to businesses that it believes may be at high risk of keeping  inadequate records, and will follow these up with a telephone call, during  which customers will be asked a series of questions regarding their record  keeping.

Where it is deemed necessary, HMRC will then either refer  the firm to its Business Education and Support Team, or arrange a face-to-face  BRC visit.

Under the scheme, the standard penalty for a first offence is  £500, or £250 for a business in the first year of trading. The maximum fine of  £3,000 will only apply where records have been destroyed.

A spokesperson for HMRC commented, ‘Penalties will only be  charged where customers are found to have deliberately destroyed records on the  first visit, or where they have failed to improve their record keeping to an  adequate standard’.

We can help with all of your record-keeping requirements.  Please speak to us for help with your record keeping.

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