Most "top-tips" avoid one essential piece of advice.

This winter, compliance is going to be the new black in the world of tax! Lots of firms are giving out advice in their newsletters, but is it a case of "can't see the wood for the trees?

Top tips:

1. Submit all your returns on time. HMRC will review your compliance records over the years. A history of late filing unfortunately, according to statistics, indicates that you may be experiencing problems in other areas of tax compliance too.
2. Ensure that you have declared all your sources of income on your tax returns, with particular regard to investment income. HMRC has now given itself wide ranging powers to obtain information from third parties such as banks in the UK and abroad.
3. Review your accounts, don’t forget stock and work in progress, ensure that provisions are reasonable and that you have quantified tax add backs accurately. Investigate any fluctuations in margins and any significant changes to turnover or the level of expenses.

But finally, what you really need to do:

4. Perform a “reality check” on your declared income. Are you sure that you are actually disclosing enough income to cover your mortgage (remember we can goggle your postcode to see where you live now, and some websites even tell us how much your paid for your home), domestic bills, holidays (as evidenced by those photos on Facebook, kids as well as day to day personal spending?

Don't overlook what is outstanding in loans and credit cards though, it is quite possible the you can prove that your lifestyle has been brought on credit rather than undeclared taxable income.