Are HMRC changing tactics?
When our client, let's call him Stan, first told me about what happened to him a few weeks ago, I wondered if he had been the victim of a scam
When our client, let's call him Stan, first told me about what happened to him a few weeks ago, I wondered if he had been the victim of a scam to get his identity information but subsequent events indicate that it was genuine. Stan's work entails driving over large swathes of the country in a transit type of van so he could be categorised as 'white van man' by the 'non cognoscente'. Stan was driving in Kent and was flagged down by a police man who informed him that he had been spotted further back not wearing seat belt. Our client argued that this was wrong and the 'spotter' was mistaken. The policeman invited him to argue when the fine inevitably landed on his door mat. He then said to Stan that he wanted to introduce him to Mrs HMRC Inspector. She then proceeded to ask Stan the following questions: Are you self employed What is your Tax Reference What is your National Insurance number Do you employ anybody What is your PAYE reference Are you VAT registered What’s the VAT number Like most of us he knew some of the answers, but not all. She promised to check his answers. In the car park where he had been pulled over were a few other parked commercial type vehicles with some unhappy looking drivers. Stan has subsequently undertaken a seatbelt awareness course, so it looks like a genuine strategy by the local police and HMRC and an attempt to catch non registered businesses.