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Flat Rate VAT Scheme Diligence

HMRC have recently updated the Flat Rate Notice – see link below;
HMRC Notice 733 (April 2014)
FWA, as authorised VAT agents, have recently been contacted by HMRC senior officers to advise that there is an HMRC task force in the area focusing on flat rate scheme users to ensure that the scheme is not being abused and this will likely lead to an increase in enquiries and VAT inspections.
Any errors in operation of the flat rate scheme, including choosing in incorrect sector, can be costly if HMRC deem that a chosen sector is incorrect and subsequently issue VAT assessments. If HMRC consider the flat rate sector choice to be unreasonable they can assess for tax retrospectively for up to 4 years for tax interest and potentially penalties, so it is extremely important to ensure the correct sector is selected reflecting the trade and activities of the business.
It should also be noted that HMRC decree VAT a self assessing tax and it is the responsibility of the taxpayer, i.e. company director, to ensure the rules of the scheme are adhered to and the VAT paid is correctly.  If you have any concerns regarding this, please contact our VAT Manager who will be happy to assist with any flat rate or other VAT enquiries.