Sponsored Content written by Olivia Rawlinson, Tax Director at Armstrong Watson LLP An investigation by HMRC can be a stressful time, even for businesses and individuals with high compliance, but as the Government sets about creating a new taskforce to crack-down on Covid fraudsters, it’s anticipated more Compliance Checks could be opened. The Government has pledged £100m to seek out those who have dishonestly exploited its range of Covid financial support schemes launched since the start of the pandemic - with an estimated £3.5bn claimed fraudulently or paid out in error. In his Spring Budget Rishi Sunak announced that the Taxpayer Protection Taskforce, of more than 1,250 HMRC officers, would be responsible for investigating those who have made fraudulent claims through the likes of the Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, which have now been extended until September. Even claims that have been submitted in genuine error may face an investigation by HMRC. This can cause a great deal of disruption to the day to day running of a business, so it’s important to make sure you have everything in check. If you are aware of any errors in the Job Retention Scheme or Self Employment Income Support Scheme claims you have made, these should be disclosed to HMRC in order to mitigate any potential penalties.  However, it would appear from the supporting policy documents that investment in taxpayer non-compliance actually goes much further than the new Taxpayer Protection Taskforce. In the tax years up to and including 2022/23, the overall HMRC investment in tackling non-compliance is estimated to be over £1bn. This investment is likely to be in recruitment, training and setting up IT infrastructure (such as data analytics tools) to support these activities. The Government estimates that in the following three tax years, the tackling of non-compliance will result in a yield of almost £2.2bn.  In our recent experience we have seen more extensive information requests from HMRC when a Compliance Check is opened, increasing the burden on our clients (whether or not there has been non-compliance). Utilising the services of competent professionals to deal with your tax affairs will mitigate the risk of compliance errors and robust record keeping will be highly important should HMRC open a Compliance Check in the future.  For further information or advice regarding a HMRC compliance check into your personal or business affairs, please contact Olivia Rawlinson on 08081445575 or email Olivia.rawlinson@armstrongwatson.co.uk