Tax investigations, also known as tax compliance checks, are a daunting prospect for business owners. The process can be stressful and time-consuming, whether you’re facing a seemingly random audit of your company or fielding queries about financial statements.

This is where tax investigation advisers come into the picture. With their specialised skills and experience, advisers can be a crucial asset in navigating the complexities of an investigation.

In this guide, we delve into the role of tax investigation advisers, how they can help protect your business, and why choosing the right one matters.

What do tax investigation advisers do?

A tax investigation adviser serves as a vital intermediary between your business and HMRC.

Their role encompasses interpreting tax law and regulations to help you compile and present the necessary documents for the investigation. They can handle communications with HMRC, freeing up time for you to focus on your other responsibilities.

Additionally, they can help demystify the scope and objectives of an audit, allowing you to better prepare for one.

Who can act as a tax investigation adviser?

Typically, these advisers are seasoned accountants specialising in tax law and investigation procedures.

They are often certified and may belong to reputable professional bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) or the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

Benefits of hiring tax investigation advisers in the UK

The stakes can seem high if you’re facing an HMRC investigation, with possible fines or even criminal proceedings possible. Around 90% of tax investigations begin because HMRC holds conflicting information about your finances, suggesting serious discrepancies.

However, working with an adviser can minimise some of these risks. Here are the benefits of enlisting professional help:

Expert guidance

Experienced tax investigation advisers can use their in-depth understanding of the tax system to offer expert advice and guidance to protect your interests.

They’ll know how to interact with HMRC, manage deadlines and gather the requisite evidence, such as expense receipts or payroll records, to support your case.


Compliance with HMRC involves meticulous document preparation and correspondence, often within tight deadlines. A tax investigation adviser can shoulder this burden, freeing you to focus on your core business activities.

Risk mitigation

Experts can conduct a detailed review of your financial statements, payroll records, and other relevant documentation to identify any areas that might raise red flags with HMRC.

They can then offer advice on how to rectify these issues to prevent further scrutiny or fines, presenting your case to the tax authority.


The potential financial benefit of hiring a tax investigation specialist can be significant.

Advisers can negotiate penalties and settlements with HMRC, often achieving a more favourable outcome than you might secure on your own.

Peace of mind

Knowing you have an experienced professional handling your case can offer some welcome peace of mind. Your adviser can answer HMRC’s queries and help you prepare for any meetings, helping to reduce stress.

Qualities to look for in a tax investigation adviser

Choosing the right adviser is crucial for securing the best outcome. Here’s what to look out for:

Experience and expertise

Check for a proven track record in managing UK tax investigations.

Advisers with experience dealing with HMRC will know how to handle the process, from deadlines to negotiation tactics.


Look for an expert with recognised UK qualifications such as the Chartered Tax adviser (CTA) credential or a membership in professional bodies like the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT).


A reliable adviser will provide a clear outline of their fees, the scope of their service, and the likely outcomes of the investigation when you first meet with them. This can help you set realistic expectations.

Client reviews

Look for testimonials or case studies highlighting an adviser’s success in resolving tax investigations. These can be good indicators of their expertise and reliability.

Communication skills

Good communication is vital, especially when you’re dealing with complex tax laws. Your adviser should be able to break down complex issues into understandable language and answer your questions about the investigation.

Making your decision

Choosing the right adviser can make all the difference in navigating a tax investigation. Their expertise can be invaluable in reducing risk to your finances, saving time and, ultimately, safeguarding your business reputation.

Get in touch with us today to find out how our tax investigation advisers can help you protect your business.