Why we recommend Fee Protection Insurance to our clients

16th January 2020


It is a fact that anyone that pays tax can come under scrutiny from HM Revenue & Custom (HMRC). Every year HMRC starts enquiries into many thousands of personal and business tax returns and accounts, as well as VAT and PAYE payments. The aim in every case is to simply collect more tax.

To those ends, HMRC continue to use various methods to increase the volume of enquiries and investigations launched into businesses tax affairs. Their use of task forces has been well publicised with the number of claims growing considerably. There has been a 17% increase in the amount of extra revenue generated by HMRC’s specialist task forces in just a year to £541m in 2018/19, up from £464m in 2017/18.

What does that mean to our clients?

Thompson Jenner have become increasingly aware that HMRC are making every effort to close the tax gap – the difference between the HMRC think should be collected and what actually is.

Enquiries can cover investigations into Income Tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Construction Industry Scheme, IR35 and VAT or any other tax matter.

In particular, recently we have noticed a more targeted attitude from HMRC in respect of VAT investigations into Devon businesses with a typical VAT enquiry alone potentially costing up to several thousand pounds. With Making Tax Digital regulations now in force, it is anticipated that HMRC will increase the number of reviews. This puts many of our small VAT registered businesses at even more risk of coming under the HMRC spotlight.

A tax investigation can be a stressful and time-consuming business. We also know that trying to defend an enquiry can also be very costly, even if you are found to subsequently have done nothing wrong.

How we can help

HMRC tax investigations are invariably extremely time consuming and above all expensive for the individual or business owner.

The good news is that many of our Devon clients, businesses and private, have benefited from being part of our Fee Protection Service and have avoided the extensive time and additional fees incurred with dealing with a random and lengthy HMRC investigation.

By joining our Fee Protection Service, you receive representation from us in the event of an HMRC investigation. Importantly we deal directly with HMRC on your behalf giving you the peace of mind to focus on your business or personal tax affairs without the concern over any unknown additional fees.

An added benefit of joining is gaining telephone access to employment, commercial and health and safety specialists who can offer professional and pro-active advice. This could be HR advice helping you to manage your employees, commercial legal advice covering all areas of law including contract, corporate, property and landlord and tenant. The scheme also offers health and safety support making sure you understand your legal obligations. The value of this alone should not be underestimated and many of our clients’ have taken advantage of the service.


We can’t prevent HMRC from starting an enquiry into your tax affairs or take away the worry of being under investigation. What we can do is put the full weight of our professional expertise behind defending you without you having to worry about any additional fees that may be incurred.

That is why we recommend that all our clients join our Fee Protection Service for peace of mind if the tax man comes unexpectedly knocking.

If you would like to know more about our Fee Protection Service, please contact our Exeter office on 01392 258553 or email Andrea Sear at: fpi@tjllp.com

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