Dodgy DIY Taxes Why You Should Never Try to Cheat your Self Assessment
17th November 2017
If you've worked with or talked to RIFT before, then you know at least one thing about us: we want to help you pay less tax by getting anything you've overpaid refunded for you. That's how we stay in business. More importantly, it's how we help thousands of UK companies and individuals stay in business themselves.
Paying more tax than you owe makes no sense for people and businesses alike. The Self Assessment system affects about 10 million of us. However, unless you're a tax expert you can find yourself on thin ice in a heartbeat, even if you're trying to play fair. Missing a deadline or tripping over a regulation is a nightmare to most people who only want to cough up what they owe.
But as we all know, there are people out there who are deciding that they won't pay what they owe We've said this before, and we'll no doubt say it again. Trying to cheat the taxman when you file your Self Assessment tax return is a Very Bad Idea.
A lot of the time, Self Assessment tax cheats apparently assume that HMRC's got too much on its plate to worry about them. It's true that running the UK tax machine is a massive job, and HMRC isn't always great at keeping the wheels turning. However, it's very wrong to think that the taxman doesn't worry about people cheating the system. In fact, he's keeping a much closer eye on things than some people want to believe.
HMRC's latest reports really start to put this in perspective. According to the official figures, £34 billion in tax went unpaid over the last tax year. That's about £1 missing for every £17 owed in UK tax.
Those numbers have pricked up the taxman's ears, yet still there are tax cheats putting their fingers in theirs. Right now, HMRC reckons that an incredible 50%+ of people in construction, transport and hospitality are under-reporting their income via Self Assessment. Nearly half of the missing tax comes from people under-paying by over £10,000, but even those owing much less are in danger. HMRC's definitely paying attention, and they're absolutely doing something about it.
Finding yourself staring down the barrel of an HMRC enquiry is a very real danger in Self Assessment. You'll quickly find yourself neck-deep in paperwork, potentially stretching back years. Every aspect of your business falls under the microscope, and the penalties are ugly. That £100 late filing fine will feel like a pat on the head in comparison if the taxman catches you cheating.
Worse still, you don't actually have to be a tax cheat to get stung for under-reporting in your Self Assessment. Even being a bit careless with your records can mean serious trouble. Over £6 billion of the missing tax comes from relatively innocent mistakes. HMRC still comes down hard when those mistakes come to light, though – which they do all too often.
The key nail we keep hammering at RIFT is that HMRC is not the enemy. The taxman will never try to cheat you, but he expects the same courtesy in return. RIFT's tax return service is built around making sure you only pay the tax you genuinely owe - not a penny more or less. That's how we've built our unequalled reputation with both clients and HMRC.
Getting your tax right takes more than firing off your return and forgetting about you. We work with you throughout the year, with all-inclusive aftercare at no extra cost. Even if you're already dealing with an HMRC enquiry, or facing fines and penalties, there are still ways we could help. That's why we're the only tax company ever to win the ICS ServiceMark award for world-class customer service.
In a field where bad advice is as damaging as bad intentions, we stand by our work and our customers. Our unique Code of Conduct and RIFT Guarantee demonstrate that commitment, and we fly those flags proudly.