A hot button issue around the globe right now is one of tax fraud, also known as tax evasion.

While tax avoidance is a legitimate measure to avoid paying taxes by the book, tax evasion is more sly, requiring a deceptive element to ensure that less or no taxes are paid at all by deliberately lying about earnings to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

For obvious reasons, tax evasion is illegal around the globe and so, many self-employed people or those who run businesses are eager to avoid being accused of tax fraud.

Even though taxes are universally disliked, they are important to keep society functioning, by paying for schools, housing programmes, and public transportation.

So, if you are new to the world of doing tax returns or have recently become self-employed, here are a few tips to help you avoid being accused of tax fraud in the UK.

Keep records

OK, so starting with an obvious one, any fraud solicitor in the UK will advise against poor book-keeping. In the modern era, there are many services available to those who run their own businesses, which can help you to keep track of inventory, staff pay, and of course, incoming and outgoing expenses.

If you can access these programmes, use them, as it will make filing your taxes easier and will give HMRC an accurate picture of your business.

If you are unsure about how much your business has earned, contact a fraud solicitor to ask for their advice on avoiding penalties.

Hire an accountant

This may not be suitable for sole traders, but in relation to medium to large scale businesses, it is vital to hire an accountant to go through your books and pay your tax returns.

This is beneficial for two key reasons; firstly, it takes the stress away from you as the business owner and secondly, if there are any errors detected in your tax return, you are not legally responsible.

But seriously, accountants are a must-have for most businesses and will save you a great deal of time and stress.

Hire an accountant

Don’t overestimate

Common in medium to large businesses, tax-deductible expenses are one way you may get caught up in fraud accusations.

As any fraud solicitor will tell you if your company has frequent expenditures that are deductible, keep tabs on each one, so you can claim the exact amount back at the end of the tax year; never overestimate expenses!

Once again, if your record keeping is not up to scratch, contact a trained solicitor to assist you.

Don’t overclaim

In the UK, many start-up businesses are entitled to tax benefits, depending on the nature and expenditure of the business.

As tempting as it may be in hard times, never overclaim on these benefits; it will be discovered eventually and you may lose your business.

If you are having issues with income and want to find a reliable revenue source, talk to a tax solicitor about legal options that may be open to you.