Fresh from dancing to the tune of VOSA, up pops HMRC.
We've just been notified that we're one of the lucky companies drawn out of the tax authority's annual lottery - the prize is a comprehensive fact-checking exercise.
We're only talking simple stuff, mind, like (all for 2009/10):
- Details of every item of expenditure for the tax year
- All petty cash records
- Full analysis of all direct costs (£1m worth)
- Explanation, get this, of a decrease in disclosed premises costs
- Breakdown of all vehicle repairs expenditure (we operate over 60 of them)
- Reason for increased admin costs (err, HMRC know we hired 20 new staff, they have their tax records)
- Breakdown of increased advertising items (staff don't just pitch up on the doorstep)
- Provide original documents for legal and professional fees (I'll get to that later)
- List all monthly HP charges incurred (again, for 60 odd vehicles)
- Sources of all capital introduced and reasons why
Fortunately, we just sit around scratching our arses day in day out so can spend a week pulling all this info out. It's not like we're running a business which employs 100 people or anything. Sheesh.
Of all those demands, though, I laughed out loud at the legal and professional fees one. You see, we're now going to have to liaise with our accountants - who have already been paid for collating the records for submission last year - in order that they can help us collate it all again. At their usual hourly rate.
Add that to the increase in paying fees to public sector bodies for never-ending additions to regulations we are forced to follow, and I'd be surprised if many companies in the UK have not seen an increase in such fees.
In other news, UK unemployment total reaches 17-year high.
Wow! How did that happen considering the utopian business environment this country affords, eh?