Tax adviser Blick Rothenberg say that it understands the pause on enquiries was ended this week and HMRC will be under pressure to refill government coffers.
The effect is that HMRC’s routine enquiries are restarting and taxpayers and their agents are being contacted, it said.
Fiona Fernie, a tax dispute resolution partner at the firm, said: “A representative of HMRC to whom we spoke on Wednesday confirmed that the temporary pause in enquiries was being lifted this week.”
She said this means that tax inspectors will be looking at both personal and business tax affairs with “renewed vigour.”
She believes some of the enquiries will include covering whether furloughed workers were actually still working for their employers and whether internet trading continued at supposedly closed businesses.
She added: “HMRC provided taxpayers with a brief respite from investigations given the potential problems with accessing information caused by the lockdown but that now appears to be over.
“The assistance Government has provided to businesses and individual taxpayers in recent months has been costly and they will want to ensure that borrowing requirements are not exacerbated by taxpayers who are not paying the correct amount of tax.
“There is no doubt that HMRC will be under pressure from Government to look at anyone who they think is defrauding the system as a matter of urgency.”
She said in addition to the resumption of enquiries and compliance reviews, HMRC has been given the go-ahead to start new Code of Practice 8 (COP8) investigations – those that involve significant amounts of tax or complex technical arguments.
She advised that taxpayers previously under enquiry and who took advantage of HMRC’s offer to pause should get ready to resume their dialogue with HMRC inspectors.