By training and culture, HMRC staff are likely to think that every taxpayer may be hiding something. Usually a client says “I’ve got nothing to hide”, and like you, the majority of business people are straightforward and genuine, they pay their tax, and simply want to avoid any trouble with the tax office.
If you get a tax inspection, eg VAT or PAYE, we’ll be there. Be warned however – HMRC no longer has to tell your accountant that they are going to visit you.
We have always found that HMRC staff individually are helpful and courteous people. These may be experienced civil servants who have to cope with constant change, political interference and organisational inefficiency – for example major computer system failings.
The experienced staff are being steadily reduced in favour of callcentres, whose staff receive less training. We spend much more time now than ever before simply trying to get HMRC to get things right.
When we taxpayers try to contact HMRC, the call centre experience is often unhelpful and frustrating, but when HMRC contacts you in an enquiry, no call centre is involved. They are efficient and they have more powers than ever before.