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Fee Insurance and Legal Helpline Cover 2024-25

Fee Insurance and Legal Helpline Cover 2024-25

Stewart Brandon

Many of our clients have concerns over needing to meet additional accountancy fees in the event of an HMRC enquiry. At a time when there is an estimated tax gap of at least £42 billion (ie the tax expected to be due exceeds the tax actually collected) a continued increase in the number of HMRC investigations is anticipated. Unfortunately it is not only those taxpayers that have committed fraud or that have included errors that can be investigated as most enquiries are instigated by the HMRC “Connect” Artificial Intelligence risk identification software. To try to mitigate these worries we have a scheme available for a subscription to give comfort to those clients with concerns, covering our fees in the event of enquiry in most cases.

Our fee insurance scheme for clients is due to renew on 1 April 2024. There are 2 main areas of benefit from the scheme with different clients utilising one or other aspect to greater or lesser extent. 

Legal Helpline
While many clients initially take out the insurance for the primary purpose of covering our fees, a significant number find the legal helpline to be of the greatest ongoing benefit. The helpline is provided by a leading UK law firm and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It provides the ability to speak to the team about any commercial UK legal problem including (but not restricted to) commercial litigation and dispute resolution, employment issues (such as restrictive covenants, disciplinary issues, pensions and unfair dismissal), property and landlord/tenant queries and health and safety. They are also available in the event of HMRC “unannounced” visits.

Fee Insurance
Our fees should be covered in the event of our need to assist with an HMRC enquiry being instigated in the period of insurance from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025. The literature sent out with the offer information sets out the full coverage but includes among other things:

  • full/aspect enquiries into Income Tax, Corporation Tax, VAT and Partnership returns; 

  • compliance visits relating to VAT, PAYE, CIS, CJRS and NMW;

  • disputes relating to PAYE, NICs, CIS and Employment Status 

  • Gift Aid Inspections.

 Also covered are informal enquiries where HMRC issue a routine letter, email or call requesting clarification of a particular issue.  Where an entity is covered then partners or entity officers and their spouses are covered at no additional cost if we deal with their personal tax affairs (subject to them not having gross rental income exceeding £50,000 or any self-employment income). There is further information plus some further exclusions and clarifications set out in the offer literature.

Offers and renewal information have been sent out to most of our clients. We endeavour to ensure offers are not sent to clients who have previously indicated they do not want to be informed of this service or where the Partner responsible believes the client will not be interested or will not derive any significant benefit.