Business Records Checks to be terminated
It must have seemed like a genius idea back in 2011. HMRC had always previously examined business records AFTER they had been submitted, what about looking at the records BEFORE they were submitted? Before they could be prepared? And what about dropping in unannounced to examine them?
Perhaps this was inspired by Minority Report? A Si-Fi film with Tom Cruse which shows a police force that stops (and incarcerates) criminals before a crime is committed?
Yes, you can imagine the meetings where this idea was put forward by power hungry think-tanks. And at the time it really shocked the industry, but BRC has been a disaster.
AccountingWEB says: “By October 2013 around 29,000 businesses had been contacted under the BRC programme and not one penalty had been imposed for inadequate records. HMRC decided to undertake another review of BRC and draw up some benchmarks of what good record keeping should look like.
“In September 2014 Simon Sweetman reported on an external review into the BRC and businesses attitudes towards record keeping. He hoped that HMRC would learn from “dogs dinner made of the idea”.
“Perhaps HMRC has learned some lessons, as this week the CIOT was contacted by HMRC to say the BRC was to be wound-down from 20 October 2015. CIOT trumpeted this as a “victory for common sense”.