It’s possible that you may get a call from the VAT Inspector. There is no need to panic. Here is what to do.
1. Be co-operative and friendly
The VAT Inspector is just a human being and will react according to the way you react. They have very strong powers, e.g. the right to enter premises and inspect the books without warning
2. Can Delay Answers
3. Be Prepared
Discuss with your Accountant beforehand what to do in such circumstances so that you are prepared
4. Insure Yourself
It is possible to insure yourself against the upset and costs to you of a VAT enquiry
5. Bean Count
Remember that, unless the VAT Inspector is out to get you, it is purely a bean count for the Inspector, and he may well be on a bonus of how much he can leave with. Talk down how much you can afford, although not so much that it is not worth his while. You‘ll have to pay the rest later, but you want to give him enough to satisfy him to get him out the door
6. Ask for Help
Ask the VAT Inspector’s help in how to fill out the forms he gives you. Also, ask about the kind of things you can claim, and how much of, for example, your telephone bills you can claim for.
You‘ll find the VAT Inspector to be helpful and co-operative if you have been the same. He‘ll be quite generous in helping if he‘s got a starter payment of a couple of grand from you in his pocket
7. Keep Your Guard Up
Beware the end-of-visit chit-chat, especially if you have got on well with him and relaxed your guard a bit. When he asks if contracting is a good business or how the market is, remember to say that it used to be good but that the bottom has fallen out of it.
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