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Whilst we're on the subject of money - here are a few tips on how to deal with the dreaded taxman!

What to do if HMRC investigates you

It is not a situation to enjoy, having the taxman - HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) - inquire in to your financial and financial circumstances. But there are things you can do to make the process faster and hopefully simpler.

Although everyone's situation can vary drastically, here are top 10 tips on what to do (and indeed, what not to) in the event you are being inquired in to by HMRC.

1. Don't panic! - Because you are being inquired in to, it does not mean it will necessarily be the finish of the world. Even in the event you have been careless, keep in mind only a few cases actually finish in a custodial sentence.

2. Get advice - In the event you are being inquired in to by HMRC, it is highly recommended that you seek out independent financial advice from a reputable accountant or adviser. It is likely to be cheaper, not to mention simpler, in the long run.

3. Keep it calm - Don't discuss your tax affairs with somebody but a tight circle of tax advisers. Your best friend's advice and thoughts on the matter may not be what you need and they are over likely going to get it wrong.

4. Tell the truth - Don't, under any circumstances, deceive HMRC. In the long run it is going to do you no favours.

5. Don't underestimate the taxman - Don't assume HMRC is ignorant of anything. It will amaze you the level of resources that the taxman has at his disposal.
6. Be prepared.

7. Pay up ASAP - Make significant payments on account. In other words, in the event you are confident on what settlement you need to make - then pay up as soon as you can. Not only does it show co-operation but it could also potentially save you a tiny fortune in interest, which can accrue on a every day basis. But don't massively overpay either, as it could be a drawn-out process getting your money back.

8. Donít destroy facts - Don't try to destroy facts. In the event you don't have the paperwork, HMRC may assume you are trying to hide significantly over you actually are. As a result it may treat your case even more seriously and the process could be prolongued. HMRC can investigate back as far as 20 years if it thinks your case warrants such examination.

9. Tell the whole story - Do not suffer from selective amnesia- don't tell half the story and wait for HMRC to catch up. In serious cases, false or deliberately misleading statements can lead to prosecution.

10. Don't reoffend - With everything settled, save yourself time and money and don't re-offend again. HMRC could, and most likely, will be stronger on a re-offender.