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Tax Take

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HMRC suffer humiliating defeat in overseas pension scheme judicial review

20 August 2013

In what can only be described as a humiliating capitulation, HMRC have conceded defeat during the course of a hotly contested judicial review hearing in the High Court.

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Cowboys and followers: HMRC's latest consultation on tax avoidance

16 August 2013

On 12 August 2013 HMRC launched a new consultation document: Raising the stakes on tax avoidance. The consultation is open for a short period, the closing date for comments being 4 October 2013.

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A new approach to corporation tax?

08 August 2013

On 31 July 2013 the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs published its first Report in the 2013-2014 session:

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The rule of law, tax avoidance and the GAAR

Published on 31 July 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Tax is in the news and making the headlines as seldom before, but the debate is not always as informed as it might be...

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Blog

The new UK GAAR – a journey into the unknown?

Published on 24 July 2013. By Ben Roberts, Senior Associate

The Finance Bill 2013 received Royal Assent on 17 July. We are now in uncharted territory.

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High Court confirms accountant's duty to alert client to tax saving opportunity

Published on 17 July 2013. By Daniel Wyatt, Senior Associate

The recent decision of Mr Justice Silber in Hossein Mehjoo v Harben Barker (A Firm) and Harben Barker Limited[1] has attracted a great deal of publicity in both professional journals and the general press as it considers the important issue of an accountant's duty to his client in the context of tax mitigation opportunities.

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Blog

HMRC's approach to statutory interpretation – literally, if convenient!

12 July 2013

There is a growing body of recent case law in which HMRC have favoured a literal approach to statutory interpretation, as opposed to the usual purposive approach they adopt when challenging what they consider to be 'aggressive' tax avoidance schemes.

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Blog

Taxpayer wins penalty shootout against HMRC

05 July 2013

The recent case of CED Limited v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 219 (TC) illustrates the importance of preparing thoroughly for the hearing of a tax appeal – even an apparently straightforward penalty appeal - before the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT').

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Blog

When should a penalty be suspended?

Published on 27 June 2013. By Daniel Wyatt, Senior Associate

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has allowed the taxpayer's appeal in Testa v HMRC,[1] against HMRC's refusal to suspend a penalty imposed under paragraph 1, Schedule 24, Finance Act 2007...

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Tribunal allows taxpayers' appeals against daily penalties as HMRC had failed to give proper notice

21 June 2013

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has allowed the taxpayers' joined appeals in Morgan v HMRC and Donaldson v HMRC1 against daily penalties for late filing of their self-assessment returns, because HMRC had failed to give notice to the taxpayers of the date from which the daily penalties would start to accrue.

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Tribunal allows taxpayer's appeal in share options case and criticises HMRC's 'mechanistic' approach to statutory interpretation

14 June 2013

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has allowed the taxpayer's appeal in Bennedict Manning v HMRC.[1]

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The Goldman Sachs settlement – 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue'

Published on 06 June 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

I commented, in my blog on 15 May 2013 on the continuing controversy surrounding HMRC's deal with Goldman Sachs, in which a large amount of interest that was properly recoverable from the bank was written off by HMRC.

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Blog

Inadequate deliberation or a case of mistake?

30 May 2013

The so-called rule in Hastings-Bass1, which permits trustees to assert and rely on the errors of themselves or their advisors to undo actions which have unexpected tax consequences...

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Tax tribunal criticises HMRC's guidance in Catherine Rawcliffe v HMRC

22 May 2013

This case1 is of interest not so much for the underlying legal issue which was determined but rather for the unusually strong criticism from the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') of HMRC's published guidance on approved company securities option plans.

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Blog

Goldman Sachs – the plot thickens!

Published on 15 May 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Readers of our blog will be familiar with the controversy surrounding the now retired Dave Hartnett, former Permanent Secretary for Tax at HMRC (see postings of 19 December 2011 and 21 December 2011).

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Blog

Termination payments: don't forget the breakdown

Published on 08 May 2013. By Daniel Wyatt, Senior Associate

In an encouraging win for taxpayers, the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') in Johnson v HMRC[1] allowed an appeal relating to a termination payment under a compromise agreement.

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Blog

Tribunal allows VAT appeal and accepts that letter was sent to HMRC

Published on 01 May 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has allowed the taxpayer's appeal in Exeter Estates Ltd v HMRC[1] against a decision of HMRC that it had opted to tax all the land and buildings on one of its sites.

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Blog

Tribunal rejects purposive interpretation and allows taxpayer's appeal

26 April 2013

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has held in Fidex Ltd v HMRC,1 that a loan relationship debit should not be disallowed under paragraph 13, Schedule 9, Finance Act 1996 ('Paragraph 13'),2 even though one of the main purposes of entering into the arrangement was tax avoidance.

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Blog

SDLT mitigation arrangement fails before the Tax Tribunal

Published on 22 April 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') has dismissed the taxpayer's appeal in Edward Allchin v HMRC.[1]

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Blog

Tax tribunal finds in favour of trustee

Published on 12 April 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The recent case of The Trustee of the De Britton Settlement v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 106 (TC), illustrates the importance of evidence and proper preparation in tax appeals before the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT').

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Blog

Easter thoughts and transfer pricing

Published on 04 April 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

Easter is a good time for reflection and balanced thinking and never have these qualities been so necessary as in the contentious area of tax, particularly where multinationals and the large corporates are concerned.

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Blog

Reliance on misleading information or guidance from HMRC can constitute a 'reasonable excuse'

Published on 22 March 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In recent years, with the difficulties that many taxpayers have experienced in the current economic climate, the issue of 'time to pay' agreements with HMRC has become of greater concern.

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Blog

First-tier Tribunal considers whether a single supply may be taxed at two VAT rates

Published on 15 March 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

When a taxpayer makes a supply of goods or services, it is not always clear cut whether there is more than one supply, or a single composite supply for VAT purposes.

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Blog

ECJ ruling in Grattan plc v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2012] All ER (D) 246 (Dec)

08 March 2013

The Court of Justice of the European ('ECJ') has recently confirmed the opinion of the Advocate General in Grattan Plc v HMRC.

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Tribunal finds for the taxpayer and concludes that a trade was being carried on

Published on 27 February 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In the recent case of Albermale 4 LLP v HMRC,1 the First-tier Tribunal ('FTT') was called upon to consider the difficult question of the meaning of 'trade' for the purpose of section 262 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 ('ITTOIA 2005').

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Blog

Late expectations – taxpayers succeed in their application to appeal out of time

20 February 2013

The 30 day time limit, contained in section 31A Taxes Management Act 1970 ('TMA 1970'), for giving notice of appeal against an amendment of a self-assessment contained in a closure notice is well known to tax practitioners

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The Prudential decision – implications for taxpayers

Published on 08 February 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Supreme Court has refused to extend legal advice privilege ('LAP') to legal advice given by professionals who are not lawyers.

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Taxpayer misled by HMRC amidst settlement confusion

Published on 01 February 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

It is normally very clear to both parties when a tax dispute has been settled by way of agreement, but this is not always the case, especially when the 'agreement' was based on a misunderstanding.

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Blog

Crown Prosecution Service announces major expansion of prosecutions for tax fraud

Published on 25 January 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

As announced in the national press this week (see e.g. the Financial Times Monday 21 January 2013) the Crown Prosecution Service ('CPS') has announced that it will increase five-fold the number of tax cases that it considers for criminal prosecution.

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Victory for the taxpayers in the Charlton case as the UT confirms that HMRC's discovery assessments were unlawful

Published on 18 January 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The eagerly awaited decision of the Upper Tribunal ('UT') in HMRC v Charlton, Corfield & another [2012] UK FTT 770, has now been delivered.

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Fact stranger than fiction - taxpayer succeeds in challenging finding of fact before the Upper Tribunal

Published on 09 January 2013. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Upper Tribunal (Arnold J) has allowed the taxpayer's appeal in Joseph Okolo v HMRC [2012] UKUT 416 (TCC).

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Blog

The need for checks and balances

21 December 2012

A recent article in the Daily Telegraph Newspaper "How one family were brought to their knees by the Taxman" by Alasdair Palmer

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Green light for TNT's judicial review

21 December 2012

Unperturbed by the High Court's initial dismissal of their attempt to judicially review HMRC's VAT exemption for postal access services provided by Royal Mail

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Rangers 2 – 1 HMRC: Victory for the taxpayer in the Rangers EBT case

Published on 10 December 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The long awaited decision of the First-tier Tribunal (‘FTT’) in the Rangers EBT case has now been delivered.1

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Tax avoidance scheme succeeds at the Upper Tribunal

Published on 10 December 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The eagerly awaited decision of the Upper Tribunal (‘UT’) in the case of UBS AG and DB Group Services (UK) Limited v HMRC [2012] UKUT 320 (TCC) has now been released.

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Mea culpa?

06 December 2012

In an interesting development that should be welcomed by company directors in particular, the First-tier Tribunal held in O'Rorke v HMRC [2011] UKFTT 839 that a subjective test of neglect applies...

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Latest climb down – HMRC are not to be on the GAAR Panel

Published on 23 November 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

On 7 November 2012, HM Treasury announced that HMRC will not be represented on the General Anti-Abuse Rule (‘GAAR’) Advisory Panel (‘the Panel’).

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The Upper Tribunal dismisses HMRC’s appeal in SDLT sub-sale mitigation case

Published on 14 November 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The Upper Tribunal (Henderson J) has dismissed HMRC’s appeal in HMRC v DV3 RS Limited Partnership [2012] UKUT 399 (TCC), a stamp duty land tax (‘SDLT’) mitigation case involving a sub-sale to a partnership.

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Taxpayer wins on purposive interpretation

09 November 2012

In recent years, it is usually HMRC pressing the courts to identify the purpose of the legislation and to reject a narrow interpretation of the legislation.

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Court strikes out HMRC’s claim in alleged VAT fraud

Published on 02 November 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In the recent decision of the High Court (Warren J) in the case of Revenue and Customs Comrs v Sunico A/S and ors [2012] All ER (D) 172, which involved a claim brought by HMRC alleging conspiracy to deprive HMRC of VAT through missing trader fraud, the Court ruled that the defendants were entitled to summary judgment and struck out HMRC’s claim.

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Court quashes HMRC warrants

Published on 24 October 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The recent decision of the Divisional Court (Pitchford LJ and Foskett J) in the case of R (on the application of Anand) v HMRC (unreported) has shed further light on the circumstances in which the Courts will quash search warrants granted to HMRC in the course of a criminal investigation into a taxpayer.

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Tax win puts McLaren in pole position!

18 October 2012

The glamorous world of Formula One does not often collide with the more cerebral realm of the First-tier Tribunal (‘FTT’), but this is precisely what happened in McLaren Racing Limited v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 601 (TC).

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Is the UK becoming a tax-haven?

Published on 10 October 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The FT has recently reported (see “Favourable tax draws companies to Britain” - 7 October 2012)

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SDLT sub-sale arrangement fails on implementation

Published on 25 September 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

The First-tier Tribunal (‘FTT’) has recently released its much anticipated decision in Vardy Properties and Vardy Properties (Teeside) Limited v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 564 (TC), an SDLT mitigation case involving a sub-sale of property into a distribution in specie.

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Blog

Taxpayer succeeds in employment status case

Published on 21 September 2012. By Adam Craggs, Partner

In Slush Puppie Limited v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 356 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (‘FTT’) has confirmed the process that it should go through in determining whether a person is employed or self-employment.

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Costs against HMRC – the importance of getting your arguments right

21 September 2012

There have been a number of cases addressing the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (‘FTT’) in respect of the awarding of costs since the FTT was established in 2009.

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Significant watering down of anti-avoidance legislation

21 September 2012

On 30th July 2012 HMRC released a consultation document entitled “Reform of two anti-avoidance provisions:

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Bringing it all back home – Tribunal rejects HMRC’s arguments on remittances

21 September 2012

In Pflum v HMRC [2012] UKFTT 365 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (‘FTT’) has found in favour of the taxpayer in a recent appeal concerning taxation of remittances from overseas under section 26 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (‘ITEPA’).

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Behind closed doors: HMRC denied access to Charman papers

21 September 2012

In the recent case of HMRC v Charman [2012] EWHC 1448 (Fam), HMRC failed in their bid to obtain documents produced in a high profile divorce case.

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National Insurance – not just another income tax

21 September 2012

From most peoples’ perspective, national insurance is simply income tax by another name.

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