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Accountancy expenses arising out of an enquiry
28/04/2022

HMRC’s internal manual offer some revealing insights as to the treatment of accountancy expenses arising out of an enquiry. As a matter of course, HMRC allows companies to claim a tax deduction for normal accountancy expenses incurred in preparing accounts or accounts information and in assisting with preparing Self-Assessment tax returns.

In respect of accountancy expenses arising out of an enquiry HMRC’s manuals state the following:

Additional accountancy expenses arising out of an enquiry into the accounts information in a particular year’s return will not be allowed where the enquiry reveals discrepancies and additional liabilities for the year of enquiry, or any earlier year, which arise as a result of:

  • negligent or fraudulent conduct or
  • for periods beginning on or after 1 April 2008 where the filing date for the return is on or after 1 April 2009, careless or deliberate behaviour.

Where, however, the enquiry results in no addition to profits, or an adjustment to the profits for the year of enquiry only and that adjustment does not arise as a result of:

  • negligent or fraudulent conduct or
  • for periods beginning on or after 1 April 2008 where the filing date for the return is on or after 1 April 2009, careless or deliberate behaviour

the additional accountancy expenses will be allowable.

This guidance was originally published in Tax Bulletin 37 (October 1998) and supersedes Statement of Practice SP16/91 which applied to pre-SA periods.