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Tax update - February 2018

Published on 01 February 2018

In this month’s update we report on HMRC’s recently published guidance relating to penalties for enablers of defeated abusive tax arrangements; the publication by the EU of a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters; and the outcome of HMRC’s consultation on reporting obligations for offshore structures. We also comment on three recent cases relating to payments on early termination of fixed term contracts; information notices; and penalties for non-payment of an APN.

News items

HMRC publishes guidance relating to penalties for enablers of defeated abusive tax arrangements
HMRC has published its guidance on Schedule 16, Finance (No. 2) Act 2017, which gives HMRC the power to impose penalties against enablers of defeated tax avoidance arrangements.

Council publishes EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions
The Economic and Financial Affairs (Ecofin) Council has published the first list of noncooperative jurisdictions in taxation matters.

Outcome of HMRC’s consultation on reporting obligations of offshore structures published
HMRC has published the outcome to its consultation concerning the introduction of new requirements that intermediaries involved in creating or promoting complex offshore structures notify HMRC both of the particulars of the relevant arrangements and the clients seeking to use them.

Case reports

Spurs 2 : 0 HMRC – payment on early termination of fixed term contract not taxable as earnings
In HMRC v Tottenham Hotspur Ltd [2017] UKUT 0453 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has confirmed the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) that payments made by a football club in respect of two players on early termination of their contracts were not earnings. They were termination payments and, therefore, were outside the scope of national insurance contributions (NICs).

Jiminez – High Court quashes information notices issued to non-UK resident taxpayer
This report is based on an article first published in Tax Journal. A copy of that article can be found here. 

Chapman – penalties for non-payment of an APN can be avoided where it is reasonable to consider the APN unlawful
In Chapman v HMRC, [2017] UKFTT 800, the FTT has confirmed that a reasonable belief that an accelerated payment notice (APN) is unlawful can constitute a reasonable excuse for non-payment of the APN.