HMRC Film scheme enquiry


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Hi all,

A new client is part of a film scheme (I believe that the scheme ends next year) and having looked over his records it appears that HMRC opened enquiries and issued enquiry notices every year up to the 2015-16 tax year. In subsequent years the client has not received any correspondence from HMRC is this regard but it appears that an amended return he submitted in 2019-20 and the subsequent refund have not been processed. The advisor I spoke with informed me this is due to his account being marked as 'under enquiry'

Now I appreciate that a closure notice has not been issued for the latest 2015-16 enquiry, but I find it odd that this should have a bearing only the processing of an amended 2019-20 return (not the refund) as the enquiry letter clearly states it is an enquiry into the 2015-16 return.

My questions are therefore as follows:

1. Are the later years (2016-17 onwards) 'under enquiry' if no notice has been issued for these years? As stated above, no amendments are being processed for these years at present.

2. What arguments, if any, could I use regarding the length of time that the 2015-16 enquiry has been open? There used to be guidance regarding Human Rights on the HMRC site but I can't seem to find these!

Thanks in advance

Replies (5)

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By Liam.em
30th Apr 2021 13:30


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By SteveHa
30th Apr 2021 13:42

Re the existing enquiry -yes, you have options to try to bring the enquiry to a conclusion, usually by reference to the tribunal.

Regarding the later years, you can certainly challenge HMRC, by inviting them to open enquiries (which I'm sure they will).

Is the film scheme entered into by your client abusive (spoiler alert, those that I have encountered have been)?

Thanks (1)
By Paul D Utherone
30th Apr 2021 14:38

1) They might technically be under enquiry if HMRC have opened enquiries into the partnership returns

2) If it is not one of the schemes that has been through the courts, has there been no approach from HMRC to close out as a follower?

Maybe I was lucky, but I had a couple a few years back where there was a partnership enquiry running, but personal refunds due for later years, and the personal record flagged as under enquiry, but we managed to get HMRC to override the flag for the later year and repay that.

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Replying to Paul D Utherone:
By More unearned luck
30th Apr 2021 19:16

See this week's Taxation regarding the chaos caused by the CoA's view on the scope of this deemed enquiry rule as expressed in Amrolia.

The advice seems to be that you should write to HMRC on behalf of each partner to ask them to close the deemed enquiry and if HMRC refuse (or say there is no need) apply to the tribunal for a closure notice.

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By Liam.em
04th May 2021 08:38

Thanks all.

I will review the taxation article in further detail. As mentioned by Steve it may result in further enquiries being opened but at least it would clarify the whole situation.

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