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Due diligence omission

13th May 2022
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The First Tier Tribunal considered a case where the previous owners of a business had received an apparently substantial assessment but had failed to disclose this to the prospective purchasers of their business, a plumbing and heating business.

The assessment was in relation to the installation of central heating systems and whether, to the extent that the installation included energy saving materials (ESMs), the supply could be apportioned between reduced rated and standard rated elements. This matter was heard at the Upper Tier Tribunal in the case of A N Checker Heating and Service Engineers [2018] UKUT 00292. I had understood that this decision was fairly well known in the sector.

The decision is mercifully short and opens with a stark explanation of the background circumstances:

This is an appeal bought in the name of the Appellant in respect of assessments raised by the Respondents against the company prior to the date on which it was purchased by the present owners. The present owners were not made aware of the assessment at the time of purchase. It had not been disclosed to them as part of the due diligence undertaken at that time.

Nothing more to say!  

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By D V Fields
20th May 2022 20:49

Let’s hope for the buyers that they knew what warranties were for.

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