You may not even know you are being looked at
You may not even know that Inland Revenue is looking at your business. Inland Revenue often starts a fraud investigation by obtaining your banking information. They then compare the cash to eftpos ratio of the backings into the business bank account. If the cash is below their national standard ratios for your business then they will start to look further into your tax affairs.
Inland Revenue often sends in undercover officers to check out how your business operates. They may even seize your records using search and seizer powers.
Prosecution may be threatened
As the tax audit progresses Inland Revenue may threaten prosecution as well as large assessments for tax arrears. Careful handling of these sorts of tax investigations is critical. There will be the risk of jail time if matters are not handled correctly and at the right time. The earlier you get your tax barrister involved the better because after certain points in the process have been passed options are no longer on the table.
Having a tax barrister or tax lawyer at this stage also means that your interactions with your advisor are fully privileged. Tax accountants have no legal privilege covering communications with them only a limited statutory right to not disclosure the content of advice.