HMRC has been accused of using “incredibly damaging” tactics in a new campaign against small businesses.
According to freelance group PCG, the Revenue is contacting clients of the UK’s smallest businesses to request “a wide range of sensitive information” on their dealings, including amounts paid, VAT numbers, and passport details.
PCG believes that HMRC is purposely avoiding larger suppliers and concentrating instead on the smallest firms. The Revenue has so far only requested information on payments up to £350,000.
PCG CEO Chris Bryce said: “There is simply no justification for HMRC to write to clients requesting detailed information on the working practices of their suppliers, especially when you consider that they are doing so with absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing.
“For any business, it would be incredibly damaging to have HMRC writing to their clients to insinuate that the way they are doing business may not be legitimate. For the smallest businesses, where client relationships are key, this is especially harmful.”
The moves are the latest in a series of new HMRC campaigns targeting small businesses. Previous or ongoing crackdowns have focused on sectors including landlords, pubs, clubs, and beauty salons.
What do you think? Does HMRC unfairly target small businesses? Let us know in the comments.