Shipleys LLP
Chartered accountants and professional business advisers

Fee protection

No-one can prevent an investigation, but our tax investigations protection package is designed to give you support at this challenging time and ease your worries about the rising costs of enquiries. It ensures you receive the best defence to protect your tax position

It also enables us to challenge HMRC’s assertions and assumptions head on, and ensure that the basis of any enquiry is correct and your case is handled fairly.

For a moderate annual charge, you can rest assured that you are protected against the professional costs associated with an HMRC enquiry. The cost of not doing so, could be an unnecessarily high tax bill.


Our Tax Investigation Protection Package Enables Us To Ensure:

  • the tax inspector is only asking for relevant information and documents, and we provide all supporting information from our files that relates to your accounts
  • we handle all communications with HMRC on your behalf - including letters, phone calls or notices issued
  • our time in preparing for and attending any face-to-face meetings with the tax inspector is covered, and we can argue on your behalf any complex or technical tax cases that are raised during the enquiry

Whether it’s a PAYE or VAT visit, a technical challenge or a detailed books and records enquiry, our tax investigations service is designed to get you a fair result. It is why we strongly recommend that all our clients consider subscribing.

You can read more in this leaflet


What's covered in the protection

In the event a client suffers an investigation, we will represent you and reclaim any costs incurred in dealing with the Enquiry directly from the insurance company. The practice will be responsible and have the discretion for making claims under our Policy. Clients will be responsible for any fees that we cannot recover from our Insurers.

For Service Period: 1st November 2019 to 31st October 2020 the package gives a fee protection of up to £100,000 in the event of the following investigations by HMRC.

Full and aspect HMRC enquiries into:

  • Corporation Tax Returns
  • Partnership Tax Returns
  • Sole Trader Tax Returns
  • Personal Tax Returns

Disputes into:

  • VAT
  • Employer Compliance (PAYE, P11D and NIC)
  • IR35

Code of Practice 8 enquiries (£5,000 fee limit) and Inheritance Tax enquiries (£5,000 fee limit)

HMRC use of Information and inspection powers/SCH 36 Pre Disputes in respect of:

  • VAT control visits
  • Employer Compliance Visits
  • Check of Employer Records
  • National Minimum Wage reviews
  • Interventions
  • Requests for information
  • Capital Gains Tax


What's not included in the tax investigations protection service package:

  • Fees incurred prior to the written acceptance of a claim.
  • Returns submitted more than 90 days after the due date.
  • Notification by HMRC of any of the above prior to subscribing to the service
  • Failure to notify/register for tax or VAT.
  • Compliance costs associated with routine submission of statutory returns e.g. P11Ds, RTI Returns, CIS Returns etc.
  • Cases of suspected fraud e.g. Code of Practice 9 cases and Public Notice 160 enquiries.
  • Where there is no reasonable prospect of challenging HMRC (VAT, PAYE and IR35 Disputes).
  • Costs for third party valuations.
  • Tax planning arrangements where HMRC have allocated a DoTAS Number and/or bespoke tax planning arrangements outside of the normal trade.


Additional benefits of the package

Business legal helpline – 24-hour, 365 days a year

Business clients who subscribe to the service also gain access to a complimentary 24-hour telephone helpline covering:

  • Employment
  • Health and safety, and
  • Business legal issues

Manned by a highly experienced team of more than 50 barristers and solicitors, the helpline provides a wide range of companies and organisations with commercial, employment and health and safety advice.

Commercial Advice covered

There are many areas within a business which, if not handled correctly, can take a substantial amount of resources to resolve. The legal advisors will be at hand to provide you with details of the relevant and current legislation in respect of any guidance you may need on matters including:

  • Intellectual Property
  • Small claims court procedures
  • Business tenancies
  • Debt recovery
  • Dealing with complaint letters (asserting rights)
  • Dealing with statutory demands

Employment Advice covered

Employment legislation can be a minefield and an incorrect decision could put your business into turmoil. Therefore, the advice line can help to ensure your business remains compliant and proper, fair procedures are followed. You can receive advice on matters including:

  • Recruitment
  • Discrimination
  • Appraisal and disciplinary procedures

Health & Safety Advice covered

All businesses are required by law to undertake a full health and safety risk assessment of their premises and business procedures. In the event of accidents, businesses could be involved in a civil claim for compensation and there could also be criminal prosecutions resulting in fines and even imprisonment. You may receive advice on:

  • Undertaking health and safety assessments
  • Correct procedures in the workplace
  • Understanding new legislation

Using the Legal Telephone Advice Services* 

To utilise this you will need to call 0345 250 0762 and quote your Shipleys client reference number.


For more information or to sign up for the our tax investigations protection service package

To find out more or sign up for the package, talk to your usual Shipleys contact or one of our specialists shown on this page


Specific advice should be obtained before taking action, or refraining from taking action, in relation to this summary, if you would like advice or further information, please speak to your usual Shipleys contact.


* Note: The legal helpline is provided by Markel Law LLP and can advise on general UK law. Abbey Protection Group Limited is a corporate member of Markel Law LLP. Markel Law LLP is regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Markel Law makes no additional charge for providing these telephone services. The advice will primarily be provided by Markel Law LLP and its teams of solicitors, who are ultimately managed by the Advice Services Director. If the client has a complaint about these telephone legal advice services they should contact the Compliance Officer, Markel Law LLP, 5th Floor, The Observatory, Chapel Walks, Manchester M2 1HL. If the client is unhappy with the written response from the Compliance Officer, the client may contact the Legal Ombudsman at PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV1 9WJ, or, or 0300 555 0333 and ask them to consider the matter. The Legal Ombudsman will only consider matters which have been submitted to it within the earliest of the following timescales: (a) within 1 year from the act/omission complained of; (b) within 1 year from when the client should reasonably have known there was cause for a complaint, without taking advice from a third party and; (c) within 6 months of the client receiving a written reply from Abbey Protection Group Limited concerning the complaint. If you also wish to make Abbey Tax aware of the complaint, please contact the Customer Service Manager, Abbey Tax, One Mitchell Court, Castle Mound Way, Rugby CV23 0UY. Tel: 0345 223 2727.


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