HMRC raises nearly half a billion in tax by tightening screws on SMEs

Recent data has revealed that HMRC raised an additional £470m in tax last year through investigations into small and medium-sized businesses.

An independent study following a freedom of information request outlined that takings from investigations into large businesses fell by 13% in the same period from £4bn to £3.5bn.

Experts argue that SMEs have suffered due to the fact that small businesses are ‘sitting targets’ which typically do not have in-house tax experts to hand – making it harder for rising and independent firms to challenge unexpected bills and investigations.

Small businesses in the UK have recently suffered the wrath of the taxman’s tougher approach to compliance, and HMRC has already announced plans to put into place a wider range of specialist taskforces to clamp down on the sector.

Experts are urging SMEs to ensure their books are in order, and any outstanding payments are made within HMRC’s requested time restrictions – in order to avoid visit unwanted investigations and potential fines.

Research has suggested that the late payment of tax by small businesses is most commonly the result of rushed and unprepared administration.