Q: When will the professional fee protection service begin?
A: The professional fee protection service will automatically be included in your monthly fee from 1 October 2015 and you will benefit from this while you remain a client at Intouch. If you are an annual client, we will automatically include this service in our quote to you.
Q: Why are you increasing fees now?
A: As per our terms, our fees are reviewed annually. We have recently conducted this review to ensure we continue to offer you the best levels of customer service and protection for a highly competitive price.
Following a lot of client feedback we have received over the past 12 months we have now added professional fee protection cover for all clients. This enhancement to our service gives you peace of mind that if HMRC raise an enquiry (which we expect them to do more and more) our fees for dealing with this on your behalf will be covered. We try to be as transparent as possible to ensure that once you are a client you will not receive any surprises or additional fees. We have given our clients as much notice as possible before the price increase is implemented.
Q: Can I opt to exclude professional fee protection from my monthly fee?
A: No – we offer an all-inclusive monthly service to all clients for one fixed fee.
Based on the increasing number of concerns expressed by our clients about the threat of an HMRC investigation, we strongly believe our clients require this service so are adding this protection for all.
Q: What level of protection will I get?
A: You will benefit from up to £75,000 of professional fee protection in the event that HMRC open an enquiry into your tax affairs or challenge you on your IR35 status, including:
Full and aspect enquiries into:
- Corporation Tax Returns
- Partnership Tax Returns
- Sole Trader Tax Returns
- Personal Tax Returns
- Employer Compliance (PAYE, P11D and NIC)
HMRC use of information and inspection powers/ Schedule 36 pre disputes in respect of:
- VAT control visits
- Employer compliance visits
- Check of employer records
- Business record check
- Visits under the single compliance process
- Requests for information
- Capital Gains Tax
Business and commercial legal helpline – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, covering employment law, health and safety matters and commercial issues.
The service will not meet the costs of:
- Fees incurred prior to the written acceptance of a claim
- Late returns
- Notification by HMRC of any of the ‘inclusions’ prior to subscribing to the service
- Failure to notify/ register for tax or VAT
- Compliance costs associated with routine submission of statutory returns e.g P11Ds, RTI Returns, CSI Returns etc.
- Cases of suspected fraud e.g Code of Practice 8 and 9 cases and Public Notice 160 enquiries
- Where there is no reasonable prospect of challenging HMRC (primarily VAT, PAYE and IR35 Disputes, but could be relevant in a case going to Tribunal)
- Costs for third party valuations
- Tax planning arrangements where HMRC have allocated a DoTAS Number and/or bespoke tax planning arrangements outside of the normal trade.
The cover is for services provided by Intouch Accounting and will not cover fees incurred for other professional services.
Q: What else is professional fee protection known as?
A: You may hear it referred to as Tax Investigation Service, or TIS.
Q: How much would this service usually cost?
A: If you purchase this professional fee protection service separately it could cost you £249 (inc taxes) annually.
Q: Who is providing this service?
A: The Intouch Accounting professional fee protection service is backed up by an insurance policy which we have taken out with Abbey Tax. The service is provided by Intouch Accounting.
Q: I’m a monthly Intouch client and have a second company – am I covered for both?
A: The professional fee protection service will automatically be included in your monthly fee from 1 October 2015.
Where you have a second company for which we bill you annually for our services, your current terms do not include the professional fees protection cover. For all engagements commencing after 1 October 2015, the terms and conditions will reflect this cover and will be included in our quote to you.
Q: What if I already have professional fee protection?
A: If you have already independently taken out a professional fee protection policy with a third party, you may wish to contact your current supplier to see if you can cancel the policy.
If you have an existing policy with Abbey Tax please speak to them directly about cancelling it.
You may notice the protection is offered through an affinity membership scheme, that you are a member of. By offering it as part of your Intouch monthly service, your usual Personal Accountant will handle the enquiry in the event you are investigated. Many other policies and services do not allow this and appoint an external Tax Investigations Consultant to represent you during the enquiry. Experience shows that most businesses are more comfortable with their own accountant handling their investigation, which is why our service enables us to represent you.
Q: Is the protection offered through IPSE membership the same as the service offered by Intouch?
A: It depends on the IPSE membership you hold.
If you have the standard membership, you have access to the legal advice line and you are covered for everything where there is a dispute. You aren’t covered for pre-dispute work (for example, if an IR35 enquiry is raised, the amount of work required in the initial stages can mount up to £1,500 just to deal with this stage alone).
If you have Plus membership then the level of professional fee protection cover is the same as that being provided by Intouch. However, by going through Intouch, you will be able to deal with your Personal Accountant, rather than an external consultant.
The professional fee protection service is just part of the IPSE membership and a part of the Intouch service and there are many other benefits to be had through both fees.
As an Intouch client you can claim a 10% discount on a new IPSE membership when you apply online.
Q: I am an Intouch client and an IPSE member. If I receive an enquiry from HMRC who should I go through?
A: If you wish to make a claim through your IPSE membership, you will make the claim through IPSE and deal with an Abbey Tax consultant. It is your responsibility to liaise with Abbey Tax first to ensure that any professional accountancy fees are approved by them, before your Personal Accountant undertakes any activity. If you fail to do this, Abbey Tax have the right to refuse covering the costs for professional accountancy fees incurred during the HMRC investigation and you will have to foot the bill.
If the accountancy costs are approved by Abbey Tax in advance, your Personal Accountant will invoice Abbey Tax directly.
If you choose to claim through Intouch,we’ll take the hassle away – by notifying your Personal Accountant as soon as you receive an enquiry from HMRC, we’ll liaise with Abbey Tax on your behalf and deal with the enquiry from start to finish.
Q: What if I am already being investigated by HMRC?
A: You will not be covered for any professional fees incurred as a result of an HMRC investigation or enquiry commencing prior to 1 October 2015. The pre-existing matter will need to be concluded before you can benefit from the service through Intouch.
You will be covered for professional fees for any new enquiry raised from 1 October 2015 (even if it relates to a period prior to 1 October 2015), and while you remain a client of Intouch Accounting, subject to the general terms and conditions of the monthly service.
Q: What if I receive an enquiry from HMRC after 1 October 2015 but for a period prior to when I was an Intouch client?
A: If an HMRC enquiry starts after 1 October 2015, it does not matter that the enquiry relates to a Return submitted prior to this date, whether submitted by you or another accountant. Please forward any correspondence from HMRC to your Personal Accountant as soon as you receive it.
Q: I have just received a letter from HMRC, what do I do? Who do I forward it to?
A: HMRC may send a letter to you directly. This does not mean they have automatically sent a copy to Intouch.
- If you receive an enquiry prior to 1 October 2015, you will not be covered by our professional fee protection service.
- If you receive an enquiry after 1 October 2015, please forward any correspondence to your Personal Accountant straight away.
Q: What if I don’t agree with HMRC’s reasons for raising an enquiry?
A: We know that HMRC are likely to raise an increasing number of enquiries. Please forward any correspondence you receive from HMRC to your Personal Accountant as soon as you receive it so that you can discuss the matter before they respond on your behalf, by HMRC’s specified deadline.
Q: Who can I speak to for more information?
A: Please contact your Personal Accountant who will assist you further with any questions you may have. Should you wish to speak to a member of the Abbey Tax team, please call Paul Mason on 0770914281, stating your name and that you are an Intouch client.