Firm fined £10 000 after changing its name without telling HMRC

A firm has been fined £10,000 after making a slight change to its name without telling HMRC.

The firm, which doesn’t want to be identified, was originally a partnership but then decided to restructure as a limited company. It added Ltd to its name but didn’t realise that it was suppose to inform HMRC.

When Revenue officials discovered the change had been made, the firm was fined £30,000 for failing to comply with VAT notification liabilities. This was in spite of the fact that it had a faultless record of VAT payments, had retained the same VAT number and had always submitted its tax returns on time in the proper manner. At no time did the Revenue lose out on any tax payments.

The fine was reduced to £10,000 on appeal.

The case was first highlighted by the Forum of Private Business and illustrates the need for firms to fully update HMRC about any changes to their business, regardless of how small or trivial those changes appear to be.

Complying with all the regulations surrounding the operation of a business can be difficult but as this case shows, even the smallest mistake can prove very costly.

Please contact us in our Warminster office on 01985 214444 or Westbury on 01373 865577 if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.