HMRC cracks down on estate agents

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a crackdown on money laundering in the property industry, which has seen a number of estate agent branches targeted in unannounced inspections.

Countywide has been fined £215,000 for “failing to ensure policies, controls and procedures at group level; and for failures in conducting due diligence; timing of verification and proper record keeping”.

Online estate agent Teplio, which went into administration in December, has also been fined £68,959.

Last week alone, the Revenue undertook 50 inspections as part of a sustained in-depth look at the estate agency sector. Those which have been found to be failing to comply with regulations could face fines or criminal proceedings.

Simon York, Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, says: “These inspections are a wake-up call that if you continue to trade illegally we will come knocking.”

If you are concerned about a tax enquiry into your affairs, worried that you may have possibly under declared or, worse still, you are already under enquiry, our Beavis Morgan tax specialists, some of whom are former HMRC Inspector of Taxes, are well versed in dealing with all types of tax issues.

We are also readily available to oversee HMRC disputes on your behalf, as well as to represent clients in appeal proceedings before the Tax Tribunal. In some situations, we can also offer professional fee protection insurance, so the costs are covered in whole or in part.

For more information and to discuss your tax affairs in further detail, contact your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.