A key figure at Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs is to be the guest speaker at a breakfast forum on employment tax being organised by Grant Thornton in Birmingham.
Neil Rollason is national strategic lead of employment duties at HMRC and responsible for rolling out the organisation's newly launched 'know your customer' initiative.
Employment tax specialists at Grant Thornton say this recently introduced programme is a more active approach by HMRC to make sure companies are paying all taxes due, particularly relating to employment, expenses, incentive schemes and benefits.
James Hemphill, associate director in Grant Thornton's employer solutions team in the Midlands, said: "This is part of HMRC's ongoing campaign to increase its tax yield and is aimed at understanding how well various elements in a business work together - such as finance with human resources - to ensure that the correct processes and controls are in place."
According to Mr Hemphill, employers are already saying HMRC is adopting a more challenging and uncompromising approach during 'know your customer' meetings.
"This is a completely new way of tackling non-compliance, with HMRC recently recruiting a number of employer compliance champions from industry to support an increased focus on employment taxes.
"Companies need to examine closely their processes and procedures, particularly if they have acquired a business, grown rapidly or if they made changes to employment policies during the recession, such as employing more people on temporary or self-employed contracts.
"All these scenarios have the potential to create a tax trip-hazard and if an HR department doesn't realise the tax implications of its practices, a company could be laying itself open to a far-reaching HMRC investigation.
"Businesses can face many challenges as the economy picks up, but facing hefty penalties from HMRC for failure to comply with employment tax legislation needn’t be one of them if they take the necessary action now."
For information on the employment tax forum, which takes place on September 17, email firstname.lastname@example.org.