It is believed to be the first service of its kind offered on a national basis.The firm says the move follows a sharp increase in the number of inspections since the launch of the government's £800m 'spend to save' initiative.
Paul Falvey, Grant Thornton tax partner, said: 'Every week the Inland Revenue selects a number of personal and business taxpayers for investigation. This selection is entirely random, which means that anyone could be picked, irrespective of the size of return or whether professional advice has been sought.'
Under the new scheme, which is underwritten by Lloyd's of London, clients pay a premium to cover them for the additional fees an investigation will involve.For business clients, the cover also extends to PAYE, VAT and national insurance investigations. Premiums are calculated according to the type and complexity of a client's affairs.
Falvey added: 'The Inland Revenue has said that in the next two years their investigations will exceed 200,000 businesses and 80,000 individuals. This scheme won't prevent an investigation but it will provide clients with peace of mind, knowing that at least they won't have to fork out for unplanned professional fees.'
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