THOUSANDS of businesses in Kirklees must improve the accuracy of their records if they are to avoid penalties by HM Revenue & Customs.
The warning comes as HMRC announces an extension of its Business Records Checks programme.
The checks have been introduced this year in eight key areas.
So far, the checks on the adequacy of business records kept by small and medium-sized enterprises show that 44% of businesses visited had issues with their record-keeping while 12% had seriously inadequate records.
Cleckheaton-based accountancy firm Clough & Company said business had to ensure all record-keeping was as up-to-date as possible now that the pilot scheme is being extended into the whole of the Yorkshire region.
Partner Nigel Westman said: “HMRC has increased the number of full-time staff carrying out these checks from 30 to 120 and plans to complete up to 12,000 Business Records Checks by the end of the current financial year, with 20,000 provisionally planned for 2012/13.
“A penalty will only be levied on the most extreme cases of poor record keeping, but in the longer term, HMRC intends to issue penalties of up to £3,000 for serious inadequacies in record-keeping.
“It’s essential that businesses act now and check that their records are up to scratch. If there are any doubts, we would encourage businesses to seek professional advice because in addition to avoiding penalties there are lots of other benefits to good record-keeping, including tax planning and cash flow forecasting.”