HMRC Enquiry - Hawthorn Tax on the case

This client was the subject of a forensic investigation by HMRC. The enquiring team were inexperienced and overstepped their legal remit on many occasions. Thankfully, Hawthorn Tax was on the case.

The Letter

HMRC Notice Of Enquiry

We were contacted by an individual who had received notice from HMRC that they were enquiring into their Self Assessment tax return.

The individual was a self-employed software developer who had invested in various digital assets. Upon engagement, we explained the expected process and likely risks HMRC were trying to address.

We began by reviewing their tax return and the underlying records. We worked with them to establish a complete and correct tax position for that period. This resulted in an additional amount of tax to pay due to an oversight by our client. A full explanation and disclosure was sent to HMRC. We explained the circumstances around the inaccuracy and why no penalties should apply.

Despite being open and honest with HMRC, they wanted more.


How We Helped

It became clear that the HMRC team running the enquiry had little experience dealing with these digital assets, and that their information requests were out with their legal remit.

Their information requests and letters became confused. They repeatedly asked for information which had already been provided. This all amounted to additional work for us and extra stress for the client.

Knowing how HMRC should treat taxpayers, we raised a complaint on their behalf and escalated this to a higher tier.

Yet again, despite this, HMRC continued with their requests for information which they had no legal right to obtain.

We were confident in our position and advised our client of their options.
Together we agreed to apply to the Tax Tribunal to direct HMRC to close the enquiry. After submitting the application and a hearing being scheduled, HMRC’s legal team agreed with our view and didn’t contest the case. The HMRC enquiry team were forced to close the enquiry immediately.


HMRC’s enquiry was closed on the basis which we first set out to them, with no penalties. We were delighted to have secured certainty for our client and brought to an end a stressful time in his life. He is now able to focus on his work and enjoy his free time better.

In addition, as a result of our complaint, our client received a redress payment and we managed to negotiate compensation for the additional costs our client suffered from HMRC’s failings.

If you are the subject of a HMRC enquiry, information request, or have something you want to voluntarily disclose, get in touch with us today.