If I purchase today when will the cover begin?
If you purchase today, cover can begin tomorrow or up to 30 days in the future. Cover is subject to insurer’s accepting your application and us receiving your full payment. Note that the Policy will not cover claims that arise directly from facts and events that exist prior to inception which are likely to cause a claim against the Policy. Therefore if you are already subject to an HMRC enquiry or dispute you should wait for the enquiry to conclude before purchasing cover as the ongoing enquiry and any further enquiries that arise before that enquiry has concluded will not be covered by this Policy.
How long is the policy for?
All of our policies run for a 12 month period.
Does the policy automatically renew?
No. We will send you a renewal reminder email 3-4 weeks prior to the end of the policy period. Renewing is easy as there is a direct link on the email that takes you direct to the FeeProtect payment page. Simply pay with a card and your renewal is done.
Is £180/hr the maximum fee the policy will pay?
£180/hr is a high market rate for the type of work involved in dealing with a HMRC enquiry.
The owning partner of the accountancy firm isn't going to be collating your paperwork to handover to HMRC. This will most likely be done by more a junior member of the team.
We are open to offering a higher hourly rate on a case-by-case basis. For example, some accountants might work individually and do not have a junior to pass the work to. Please get in touch via the contact from and we can discuss a higher rate. To manage expectations, the premium price will be higher for an increased hourly rate.
What is the difference between a Private Individual and Sole Trader?
A legal definition of a sole trader is
"...a person who is the exclusive owner of a business, entitled to keep all profits after tax has been paid but liable for all losses." .
We often get asked by professional people whether they are a private individual or a sole trader. In most cases these people are classed as a sole trader because they are running an business. For example, a individual who is a Motivational Speaking is still classed as a sole trader because they are applying a trade. This is also true of shopkeepers, authors, plumbers, engineering consultants, etc.
A private individual is somebody who has a source of income (rental / investments) but is not actually running a business. For example, a private landlord who is renting out a house and generating income.
It is important that you select the correct type of business when you buy Fee Protection Insurance.
Will I receive paper copies of my policy documents?
No, but we can provide this on request. All the policy information is included within the email you receive once the policy application has been accepted. Also within this email are links to PDF downloads of your policy information which you can save and print off yourself if that is preferable. Ultimately we feel it's quicker, easier and saves trees.
Who is the underwriter of the policy?
The underwriter for FeeProtect is ARAG PLC and is part of the ARAG Group, the largest family-owned enterprise in the German insurance industry, with a presence in 18 countries. Founded in 1935, on the principle that every citizen should be able to assert their legal rights, ARAG now employs 3,700 people around the world and generates premium income in excess of €1.65 billion. Boasting an impressive Solvency II ratio of 199%, ARAG has also proved extremely popular with UK clients since our 2006 market entry, picking up a string of awards, including Legal Expenses Team of the Year at the Underwriting Service Awards, four times in succession and cementing our place as a market leading legal expenses insurer.
My billing address is different to my business address, is this a problem?
It should not be a problem, however after purchase please let us know you require a different business address / person on the policy document. After going through the checkout process you will you receive an email confirmation, simply reply to this email with the preferred details. The credit card payment mechanism uses parts of the billing address for validation and it's important that it's the correct address for the card being used. After review the updated policy documents will be sent in a separate email.
Can I buy on behalf of of another business?
This should not be a problem, however after purchase please let us know you require a different business address / person on the policy document. After going through the checkout process you will you receive an email confirmation, simply reply to this email with the preferred details. The credit card payment mechanism uses parts of the billing address for validation and it's important that it's the correct address for the card being used. After review the updated policy documents will be sent in a separate email.
Does the Policy cover VAT and PAYE Compliance Visits?
The Policy will cover fees incurred dealing with a VAT or PAYE Compliance visit where it is necessary for your accountant to attend. It will not cover fees incurred by your accountant doing work that you could do to the same level. The Policy will also cover fees incurred dealing with queries following the visit or disputing HMRC’s findings, provided there are grounds for dispute.
Does the policy cover Corporation Tax?
Yes. This is covered under a HMRC 'general business enquiry'
If I insure a business will the Policy also cover the Directors and Partners?
The business policy for limited businesses also automatically covers the personal tax returns of partners or directors of the business. So where a director or partner has self employment or rental income that is not from the insured business, they will still automatically be covered by the business premium (no additional premium will be due). However, if income is derived from any other business interests (sole trader, partnership or limited company) this will require separate cover for that business.
Does the Policy cover Business Record Checks?
As with VAT and PAYE Compliance visits the Policy will cover fees incurred by your accountant dealing with Business Record Checks where it is necessary for your accountant to attend. It will not cover fees incurred by your accountant doing work that you could do to the same standard as your accountant. The Policy will also cover fees incurred dealing with any enquiries that arise following the check or disputing HMRC’s findings, provided there are grounds for dispute.
Does the Policy cover the cost of an external specialist (other than my accountant) representing me in the event of an enquiry?
Where appropriate the Policy will cover fees incurred by an external specialist. Although note that the hourly rate in respect of such a specialist will be limited to hourly rate agreed under the Policy.
How do I make a claim against the Policy?
Please see our dedicate claim page here
Does the Policy cover Aspect Enquiries (as well as full enquiries)?
Yes the Policy will cover an enquiry that looks at all of your books and records (a ‘Full Enquiry’) or just a specific aspect of your affairs (an ‘Aspect Enquiry’).
Does any Excess apply to the Policy?
There is no Policy Excess.
What is the maximum amount the Policy will pay out in the event of a claim?
The Limit of Indemnity is £100k, so the Policy will cover fees incurred up to this amount (subject to the Policy Terms and Conditions). Within this the Policy will pay up to a maximum of £180 per hour. In respect of the appointed advisors hourly charge out rate. [Please note, we may offer a higher hourly rate if pre-agreed at time of policy purchase] In the event of a HMRC site visit, there is a limit of £1,000 towards the appointed advisors costs in attending and representing you in person.
Will the Policy cover costs incurred disputing HMRC’s findings at a Tribunal?
The Policy will cover fees incurred defending you at a Tribunal, provided there is a reasonable chance of you succeeding. More specifically the Policy won’t cover fees incurred disputing HMRC’s findings where there is little or no chance of succeeding and so where commercially it makes more sense for you to pay any additional tax rather than incur further costs at the Tribunal.
What e-commerce platform does FeeProtect.com use?
We use Shopify for our e-commerce platform which is a one of the largest website platforms in the world used by thousands of businesses. It's a secure platform that has the highest security standards for banking and credit card transactions.
I'm an accountant, can I earn commission by selling this policy to my clients?
Possibly.... we do now offer bespoke multi-client policies for select accountants. Please get in touch via the contact page to discuss your requirements.
GDPR and data security
We do not use any of the information we hold to about you to provide information on other products or services, nor do we ever pass on this information to any other party for such purposes. We only use your information for the purposes of administering your policy with your Insurer.
The entities where your information maybe stored for the purposes of administering
Shopify - website platform
Straight Solutions Ltd - insurance provider
ARAG PLC - the underwriter
Google Analytics - used to understand website traffic and trends. Never analysed on an individual basis.
Can I have an example of how it works?
We have been asked multiple times to provide an example of what the insurance does.
Using very simplistic numbers:
You get notified by HMRC that you/your business owes £7,500 in unpaid tax. You instruct your accountant to work on your behalf and provide information to HMRC and hopefully get the tax demand down. Let's say the accountant spends £1,500 of their time.
Without Tax Investigation Insurance
The best case scenario: your accountant manages to get the tax bill down to £0, you still have to pay £1,500 in total with their fees.
The worst-case scenario: your accountant hasn't been successful so you owe the £7,500 to HMRC and £1,500 to the accountant meaning your total is £9,000.
With Tax Investigation Insurance
The best case scenario: your accountant manages to get the tax bill down to £0 and the £1,500 is paid for by the insurance. Your total is £0
The worst case scenario: your accountant has not been successful, so you owe £7,500 to HMRC but the professional fees are paid for by the insurance meaning your total is £7,500
Please remember- Tax is not optional and Tax Investigation Insurance does not cover the amount owed to HMRC. It simply covers the professional fees associated with a HMRC enquiry.
Will buying this insurance put me on the hmrc RADAR?
Absolutely not. Policy sales are registered with the underwriter for the purposes of providing the insurance, and the information goes no further. HMRC does not have any access to policy details and having this insurance has no bearing on the risk of being inspected or not.
I've purchased - but I've not had any emails confirming. WHY?
We've been made aware that a particular ISP (internet service provider) rejects the automated emails from our web platform Shopify. In such circumstances we normally receive an email bounce-back in the form of an non-delivery report (NDR) which makes us aware and we can action immediately.
In the case of this particular web host all email logs show a successful delivery, but for whatever reason the ISP does not forward on to the email recipient. Without any NDR feedback it is annoying to all and we've been in touch with the ISP technical department multiple times. One time we even had to formally complain to the ISP.
In the very rare cases where you have not received anything- please let us know ASAP. We have an alternative way to get your policy to you. Please use the contact form link above or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Is this tax liability insurance?
No. Our insurance covers you for professional fees during a HMRC investigation. It will not cover any tax amounts owed to HMRC following an enquiry.
Does this cover R&D tax relief?
Currently Yes. If HMRC inspect your company's application of R&D tax relief, professional fees should be covered under a 'general business enquiry'. A possible caveat is that if during an investigation it is found the relief has been incorrectly applied, then the underwriter could legitimately withdraw further cover.
I have multiple businesses, can I buy a single policy to cover all of them?
No. As each business is a separate legal entity it therefore will need separate policies. There is no umbrella coverage for sub-entitities. This is because each business has a separate chance of being investigated by HMRC.