McFarlane  TC 06512 – Tax Tribunal case lost for deliberate behaviour
The First Tier Tribunal judge found in this appeal that there was a valid discovery and the appellant’s actions were considered deliberate. The appellants agents FTR Accountants Company Limited had made a series of mistakes and errors in the appeal process and did even turn up to the hearing with the excuse that they had got their diaries wrong. This case demonstrates the importance of cooperating with HMRC from the outset and to ensure the formal appeal process is adhered to by the agents as any mistakes could prove to be costly.
Tax fraudster jailed for VAT repayments
David Handley, aged 43, from Leicester has been jailed for four years for VAT repayment fraud. Mr. Handley was the mastermind behind a gang of 18 people using forged identities to set up businesses and claim more than three hundred fraudulent VAT refunds. In his supervision, Mr. Handley had set up almost 46 illegitimate businesses purely to claim tax from HMRC. Read more…
Football agent loses tax avoidance case
Jerome Anderson, a former football agent has finally lost his tax case of £1.2 million against HMRC. The Upper Tribunal concluded that Mr Anderson and eight other individuals failed in using this scheme which involved investing in recruiting young players in South Africa. Mr. Jerone Anderson was trying to use this investment to claim a bogus loss of £3 million in order to significantly reduce his tax liability. Read more..
Code of Practice 9 tax investigation closed
This client came to us from London after he was referred to our firm by his accountants. This Code of Practice 9 ( COP 9 ) tax investigation case was being dealt with by a forensic accountant in Wales who decided to close his business and do a runner after taking a large fee upfront. The case involved undisclosed income from various sources over 13 years and involved complex transactions. Our team of tax experts took on the case and after thoroughly investigating the facts and meeting with HMRC officers, were able to reach a settlement that was acceptable to our client and HMRC. The case was closed and our client thanked us for our efforts to bring his life back to normal.
Our analysis: Code of practice 8 and code of practice 9 tax investigation cases are very complex. With Code of Practice 9 cases, there is immunity for making a full disclosure. If however, the tax payer does not make a full disclosure, there is a risk of prosecution by HMRC. There have been numerous cases of tax payer being sentenced to prison for not making a full disclosure during the Code of Practice 9 enquiry. Our team of tax specialists have extensive experience in dealing with Code of Practice 8 and Code of Practice 9 investigations and negotiating best possible settlements for the clients.
Positive ruling from HMRC on capital gains tax liability
This client came to us on recommendation from East London. The client had transferred a property to their relative as part of an ongoing internal family arrangement. On the face of it, there was a transfer between connected people and therefore subject to a substantial capital gains tax liability. We considered the case and background and found that the person to whom the property was transferred had retained beneficial ownership of the property throughout the period of ownership by the nominee owner and that there was a deemed trust in place. We discussed the idea with our client and applied to HMRC for a ruling that there was no tax to be paid considering the structuring of the ownership. After waiting for approximately 8 weeks, we received a positive ruling from HMRC confirming that our technical analysis of the ownership structure and of deemed trust was correct and therefore no capital gains tax was payable. This was great news for our client as a potentially substantial tax liability was no longer payable in accordance with the tax legislation.
Our analysis: This was a complex matter and required in depth specialist knowledge of the tax legislation and legal/ beneficial ownership structures. Whilst a tax specialist will no doubt cost more than an ordinary accountant but can bring much larger savings in tax. In this case the additional fee was a fraction of the tax savings brought for our client.
Inheritance tax and capital gains tax planning for a large estate
This client came to us through another firm of accountants from London. The client had a significant portfolio of investment properties as well as a high value main residence. The client was seeking advice to mitigate capital gains tax on transferring the investment properties to their children and also to reduce their estate for the purposes of inheritance tax at death. Our client had been to a number of accountants and tax advisers previously but had not been able to find a solution. Our tax specialists were able to propose a tax strategy that allowed capital gains tax on transfer of properties to children to be eliminated as well as significantly reduce or eliminate the potential inheritance tax liability. Our firm also helped with complete implementation of the strategy achieving capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance tax savings.
Our client had previously been advised on transferring the investment properties into a limited company to achieve income tax savings. In our view, this approach carries a significant risk that HMRC may seek to charge capital gains tax on the transfer. The advisers rely on the Ramsay case) and hope that HMRC will not challenge. Firstly, the risk of significant capital gains tax becoming payable is there and has become reality in many cases. Even if the case went to the Tax Tribunal and was won by the taxpayer, it does not achieve significant inheritance tax savings or capital gains tax savings on transferring of properties to children. Furthermore, as the property prices keep increasing and if the limited company was to sell one of the investment properties, it would pay capital gains/ corporation tax on the disposal and the shareholders would pay income tax on extracting the profit from the company. This means that transferring properties into limited companies are subject to double taxation.
Our analysis: Our firm specializes in capital gains and inheritance tax planning strategies and we have advised on a number of cases involving a large portfolio of investment properties. There are several strategies available and being marketed by accountants and tax advisers. One needs to be careful before going ahead with a strategy and think through right to the end of the tax implications i.e. capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance tax. We have seen that some clients only aim to mitigate income tax but forget the capital gains or long term inheritance tax planning.
Worldwide Disclosure Facility – Deadline for disclosure 30 September 2018
The Worldwide Disclosure Facility was introduced by HMRC in September 2016 to allow individuals with offshore income to make a declaration without having to suffer heavy penalties or prosecution. This facility has been used by a large number of people in and outside the UK and settlements reached with HMRC. The Worldwide Disclosure Facility will come to end on 30 September 2018 after which HMRC’s new rules under Requirement to Correct will be applicable. The new rules will impose tougher penalties and sanctions on those who have failed to make a declaration by 30 September 2018.
Any foreign nationals living in the UK also need to make a disclosure if they have any offshore income even if that is being kept in the foreign country and not remitted to the UK.
As there is a national campaign going currently in relation to the end of the Worldwide Disclosure Facility, we have been receiving a large number of enquiries from individuals willing to make a last minute disclosure. The initial intention to disclose is fairly simple and can be done online. HMRC will then allow 90 days for the full disclosure and for the tax to be paid. Please contact us on 0207 998 1834 if you would like to discuss making a disclosure.
Man jailed after failing to comply with Code of Practice 9 investigation
Bartley Murphy from Demesne Road, Downpatrick, has been sentenced to prison for 2 years and three months for tax fraud. Mr. Murphy developed and sold several houses between 2007 and 2014 but did not declare his profits to HMRC or paid any tax. He was offered Contractual Disclosure Facility under Code of Practice 9 by HMRC to make a full disclosure of his tax irregularities. However, despite being under a serious tax investigation Mr. Murphy chose to lie and did not make a full disclosure. Read more.
Two men arrested for £1.2 tax fraud
Two men have been arrested on 10th May 2018 in Glasgow for tax fraud and tax evasion of roughly £12m. These arrests came following a prolonged investigation by specialist officers from HMRC. The personal details of those arrested have not been published yet due to the nature of the offences and the fact that investigations are ongoing. Read more.
Galiara  TC 06431
The First Tier Tribunal has decided in favour of the appellant appeal against late filing penalties issued by HMRC. The Tribunal Judge found that HMRC had not been able to provide sufficient evidence that a notice to deliver a tax return had been sent to the tax payer. This case demonstrates that HMRC’s penalty system is not always right and that if appealed correctly, penalties issued wrongly can be cancelled.