The taxman has selected me for an enquiry, has had all my books and records and now wants me to have a meeting with him. Do I have to go?
Meeting the taxman can be a worrying process and if you are doing so it is vital that you are properly represented at the meeting. Under no circumstances should you attempt to go alone. However, there is no legal obligation for you to attend and you are within your rights to refuse to attend and deal with the enquiry through correspondence, saying you will be better able to consider the questions and give a fuller response that way. However, a meeting can often help to resolve matters more quickly and is a sign of co-operation that can help to reduce any eventual penalties should tax be found to be owing. You should ensure you are being advised by an accountant experienced in enquiry work as the right approach will vary depending on the client. Ensure an agenda is requested prior to any meeting and fully prepare beforehand. At the meeting you do not have to answer questions there and then. Do not be pressured into answering questions you are not certain of the answer to and ask them to be put in writing for you to consider.
It’s also worth pointing out that there was also no legal obligation for you to send all your books and records to the taxman. For example it may be better to have him inspect the records at the office of your accountant.