It was former HMRC employees that were actively promoting these schemes , promoted by large practitioners, with the tacit approval of their ex colleagues still within the employ of HMRC. Surprise surprise it’s now ex HMRC employees , working for large practitioners, who are now “helping” people out of the mess , that HMRC were fully aware of and tacitly approved , with help from colleagues still within the employ of the HMRC. A total utter farcical none sense!!!
We were recommended a scheme by an established specialist accountancy practice that employed ex HMRC “ tax specialists” who liaised with colleagues still in the employ of HMRC . It was “sold “ as a well established practice for a considerable fee. This post isn’t about criticising the vast majority of good practitioners out there. It’s a statement as to what happened to busy genuine small / medium sized businesses , who were not experts in this field , whose own smaller accounting practices didn’t profess to have the necessary expertise in complex tax planning. HRMC had a duty of care to act as soon as such schemes were mooted - let alone implemented. The Revenue cannot now pretend they didn’t know what was happening as it was their former employees that were selling the schemes in cahoots with their very own employees. The whole tax system is way too complicated/costly now and needs a radical overhaul as its penalising smaller businesses .
The real issue is that HMRC were fully aware as to what was happening and owed a strict duty of care to most clearly red flag this issue in a timely and clear manner. They didn’t and we’ve ended up with a multiple pile up complete with “injuries and deaths”.
Clients were recommended and accepted these schemes as part of “established” tax planning by members of the accounting profession in good faith . How ever would a client know as to which of those within the profession are the “good apples”and is the accounting profession now saying that these loans were miss sold ??
Consideration now needs to be given as to whether former HMRC officers should be allowed to advise on /promote tax schemes once outside the employ of the HMRC and as to whether legally they can consult with colleagues still in the employ of HMRC.
An important point has been made with regard to this matter. The advice should be , for anyone who maybe affected , to write to their MP as the actions proposed by HMRC may amount to a breach of Human Rights. A significant number of the schemes that people innocently embarked upon as well established tax planning ( since 1999!) where promoted by long established professional practices, often using well remunerated ex HMRC employees to illustrate and market them. The ills didn’t stop there as it was stated that the schemes had tacit HMRC approval as they had been discussed with their former colleagues still in the employ of the HMRC.....some of whom may have subsequently boarded the gravy train . If any readers or clients are being threatened by action now is the time to make a resolute stand. Failure to do so will make tax planning , let alone life planning, impossible. Whatever next ...restrospectively changing stamp duty , IHT , Corporation/Income tax, VAT . Sadly people are committing suicide over this.