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Taxman to Hassle Tax Cheats

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Newsletter issue - March 2011.

In addition to the 50,000 letters being sent about keeping business records, the Taxman is writing to 12,000 self-employed people who claim Tax Credits, to check whether they have been understating their income.

As a self-employed person you can claim Child and Working Tax Credits just like an employee, but your self-employed income is likely to be more variable than a regular wage or salary. If the income from your self-employed business has fluctuated wildly during the past recession, you may well get one of those letters from the Taxman. You will be asked to supply evidence of your income, which will normally be your business accounts and possibly bank statements. We can help you compile the information requested.

The Taxman is also getting serious about tackling those who deliberately cheat the tax system, as opposed to those who make careless mistakes.

He is targeting individuals and businesses identified as deliberate tax cheats since April 2009, and will regularly monitor all aspects of that person's tax affairs. This will involve asking for further information to support figures on tax returns, and possibly making unannounced visits to business premises.

The monitoring will continue for two to five years, or as long as the Taxman thinks the person is a tax risk. Initially, about 900 people will soon be informed they are included in this monitoring scheme but this number may well increase in time.