A visit from HMRC is always a bit of a strain, even if it’s been arranged weeks in advance. It’s much worse if they turn up on your doorstep unexpectedly…

So, to help you manage the situation should it ever happen, here is a quick summary of how to react if you get an unexpected visit from someone claiming to be from HMRC.

  1. Lock the door.
  2. Call Fiander Tovell before you do anything else.
  3. Don’t do anything else.

The key thing to remember is that HMRC cannot insist on being allowed in. The worst that can happen if you refuse to let them in is that they may be able to get a judge to fine you £300. If HMRC think the issue is important enough to talk to a judge about it, £300 is probably a small price to pay to get a breathing space. 

There is no bit of paper that HMRC can have which changes this, no matter how much the officer waving it insists that they have authorisation to come in. The only exception is if they turn up with a police officer, at which point it’s a police matter not a tax one and you really need to talk to your lawyers.
The one thing you can do is look out of the window occasionally, holding a nice hot mug of tea and a biscuit, and ask the officer if they’re sure they want to stay out there being rained on. It won’t affect the tax position, but a bit of petty taunting may make you feel better.
Of course, this all assumes that the person actually is from HMRC. There have been quite a few reports of people without proper ID claiming to be there to collect unpaid taxes, so one of the first things we will do is verify that they’re genuine, and that there really is an issue. After that, we can work on resolving it in a reasonable manner.
If you have any questions, do
contact us .