Why Would HMRC Visit Me? Reasons For An HMRC Tax Compliance Check

Why Would HMRC Visit Me? Reasons For An HMRC Tax Compliance Check Keeping good records and filing your Self Assessment tax return on time are two smart moves to help you stay on the right side…

5 Minute Read

Last Updated: 14th March 2022

Why Would HMRC Visit Me? Reasons For An HMRC Tax Compliance Check

Keeping good records and filing your Self Assessment tax return on time are two smart moves to help you stay on the right side of the taxman. However, at some point HMRC may contact you to check details about your tax return.

They will not turn up unannounced, but will generally contact you by letter or phone to request information before scheduling a visit. If you have been contacted by HMRC for a tax compliance check, respond as soon as possible, because ignoring this notice without valid reason could result in a penalty.

But if you’re wondering ‘why would HMRC visit me in the first place?’, let’s take a look at three of the common reasons behind inspections:


  1. Errors on your tax return

Mistakes happen, especially when you submit your Self Assessment manually instead of using tax software. Data that’s been entered incorrectly might catch the eye of HMRC. So, if you spot a mistake, either correct your tax return or let them know immediately to avoid the risk of penalties or investigation.

  1. Unusual fluctuations in your earnings

HMRC increasingly use ratios and comparing averages to spot discrepancies in income. One indicator that may spark a tax check is large fluctuations in your earnings from one year to the next.

For self-employed people, there may be a straightforward explanation such as peaks and troughs in workflow, ill health or other extended time away from business activity. Ensuring you have a valid reason and records for any anomalies will help if an inspection is required.

  1. Tipping off

HMRC make it easy for people to report suspicions of tax evasion; this is a great source of information for the taxman, who will usually act on any tip off they receive. As such, make sure you only discuss your financial affairs in private, with people you know you can trust.

Stages of a HRMC tax compliance check

Generally a HMRC tax compliance check is a standard and straightforward process that is nothing to worry about. Here is a brief outline of what you can expect if you receive notification of a compliance check:

  • Taxpayer information notice – This will be in the form of a letter or phone call outlining the information and documents required.
  • Inspection – You will receive notice of an inspection if HMRC wish to visit you to inspect documents or information.
  • Penalties – Once checks are complete, you will be issued with the outcome of the inspection and a notice of any penalties and tax adjustments that need to be made.

The prospect of a tax investigation is daunting, but you don’t need to worry if your accounts are organised and you complete your Self Assessment online using the best tax return software.

To ensure you are keeping accurate records and for advice on how to fill in a Self Assessment tax return, visit SimpleTax today and trial our easy tax software solution.


Sources: https://www.gov.uk/tax-compliance-checks



Trusted by over 15,000 subscribers

You don't need to be an expert to complete your self assessment tax return.

Start your free trial

Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.


Start your Self Assessment tax return today for free.

Sign up Now

How much tax does a landlord need to pay? 10 key questions answered…

18 May 2023

The UK has more than 2.7m unincorporated landlords and each year they report to HMRC rental property income worth some £41bn. Unincorporated landlords are…

How to claim a tax rebate when you’re a sole trader

04 May 2023

Even if it’s only a few quid, finding out that you’re in line for a tax rebate because you’ve paid too much tax is…

21 expenses you can claim as a private residential landlord

02 May 2023

Being a landlord can be costly. There are so many things to buy and expenses to pay, while repairs and maintenance work can really…

How GoSimpleTax Works


Simply register for free with your full name and email address.

Select Your Income

Select the income you receive and follow the hints and tips for potential tax savings.

Validate Your Information

Validate your personal information and submit directly to HMRC to get confirmation in just seconds.


Work Anywhere, With Any Device

Gone are the days of fretting over a calculator surrounded by scraps of paper at the eleventh hour.

GoSimpleTax’s tax return software uses the information you upload in real time to calculate your income and expenditure, working out the tax you owe and sending you helpful notifications when there’s the possibility of a mistake.

Start your free trial

"The software is intuitive and proved very easy to navigate. I found the whole process refreshingly simple. I saved a lot of money too!"

Steve J.

Ordained Presbyter

"Easy to use and value for money. Everything you need to do your tax."

Gordon J.

Self Employed

"It fills in all the forms and sends them to the Inland Revenue. Not expensive either. Takes the stress out of doing your tax return online."

Ross G.

Team Rector

Start your free trial