G Webber CTA
Member Since: 28th Jul 2016
Tax Director of WTT Consulting Ltd.
Specialist tax enquiry firm, with a strong presence in the contractor market
17th Feb 2020
Unexplained policy; dodgy statistics; unanswered questions; HMRC following dogma and not the law; fear of draconian application of rules nobody understands; change forced upon commercial businesses for tax reasons.
Where have we seen all this before?
And that has ended so well for HMRC.
Do they never actually listen?
12th Feb 2020
This is shameful.
This sort of behaviour being perpetrated against my client group has become standard operating procedure for HMRC.
Beware, if we - as advisers - tolerate this, HMRC will never learn where their boundaries are.
Sounds like we should treat them as three year olds?
Yes we should when they behave like that.
4th Nov 2019
I fully expect that this is a forerunner to a retrospective change of law which will "clarify" or "restore" HMRC's ability to use incorrect law in Inverclyde.
Having once made a retrospection for "administrative" matters, it's a small step to reversing a decision in Tribunal.
Wedge - thin end - or more precisely, perhaps more than the thin end.
4th Nov 2019
Unlike Justin and the others above, I cannot find it in me to accept that this is the way that the tax collecting arm of Government should behave.
If they were bringing in technology and delegating certain functions to a computer, then like many private businesses, they should have thought beyond the end of their nose and legislated AT THE TIME.
Legislating later, once the Tribunals and Courts have basically found them abusing their position, is reprehensible. Wherefore the certainty and security of the tax system for individuals? Sacrificed to HMRC hitting targets - that's where.
Worse, they do this without consultation - (breach of policy) - and when Government arguably has a number of more important matters to deal with, or are not sitting because of a GE. I cannot help think that this is a cynical and potentially unlawful move by HMRC.
I really hope that this is not the way in which HMRC will deal with matters under their new CEO who does have a reputation for being at the more extreme edge of policy.
I suspect however that the decision in Inverclyde ( not the case on this link but an excellent article https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/tax-take/inverclyde-enquiry-into-llp-...) has a lot to do with this.
If Inverclyde is correct, then HMRC has opened enquiries into tax schemes at which, literally, billions of pounds are at stake. HMRC risks losing all extant cases where they claimed that an LLP was not trading - their standard, go to argument - because they did not understand the law and/or did not comply with it.
The list of HMRC errors being covered up by legislation, much of it retrospective in effect if not semantics, grows and seemingly NOBODY in Government cares. The judiciary cares and is increasingly critical but the message is being ignored by politicians.
One can only imagine what somersaults the hierarchy at HMRC perform in meetings with Treasury when these, let's face it, errors caused by a failure of successive leadership to think through and understand consequences, are discussed. Perhaps they are not discussed. We already see senior HMRC officers admit to Parliamentary committee that the reasoning behind policy is not always as presented in Budget documents. We also see HMRC briefing MPs and Treasury inaccurately, causing them to perhaps perjure themselves.
No. This is another step down an increasingly steep and slippery slope and unless we have a Government that actually cares enough to call a halt - my preference would be a wide ranging powers review - we will arrive at, unless we are already there, an unaccountable, out of control and not fit for purpose HMRC.
31st Jul 2019
I have no opinion of you, good, bad or indifferent.
I would like to see all parties in these transactions abandon the thinking of the past, examine the situation today objectively and make plans and preparations based on realistic principles.
In a Utopian world employment and tax law would be aligned. Here in the real world it is not and presently the Gov't has no inclination to do that and the Courts cannot wear Parliament's clothing and make it so. Any ET making a decision binding on FTT or vice versa would be found to be acting outside its jurisdiction. As a result even if the Judges were to make simple and obvious connections, there is no validity to them.
Don'y fool yourself that being taxed as an employee means you are one.
I've wasted too much time here today and am tired or repeating myself.
31st Jul 2019
I have said exactly that in this website and others and have attracted the approbation of my professional colleagues and been "warned" by a high ranking professional body that I need to have the evidence of negligent advice before continuing my campaign. I have not stopped saying that my colleagues have let down their clients and themselves.
I have every reason to believe that many naive people were pushed and cajoled into schemes and that the present proposals are a tax planners paradise and that we will see a repeat of the mess of the early 2000,s.
My role now, via my firm, is to protect as many people as possible from an enquiry in the future.
Unfortunately we are already seeing offers made to clients from people who can be described only as dishonest, saying that they can arrange a contract to be outside IR35 (regardless of the role) and that a fall back position if they are wrong is that the individual will qualify for all sorts of employee benefits.
As I said - dishonest.
Given the irrelevancy of ET rules in a FTT and vice versa, this will never happen.
31st Jul 2019
As I said we had this debate elsewhere but that led to nothing in face of a stubborn refusal to see that the world had moved on and that cases from years ago arising from very specific circumstances have been rendered irrelevant in the face of new legislation and policy.
Here we are trying to address the new reality. That si that the Gov't has decided that there is no place for a common definition of employment between tax and employment law. Trying to argue that there should be or that in the absence of any attempt to do that, your case is proven is akin to saying that "unless something is expressly prohibited, it is allowed". That is trite and as untrue as your statement.
The FTT has a certain path it follows in IR35 status enquiries. Read the cases. It will look at the role, the way the role is performed, the supervision, direction and control exercised. Issues such as whether permission has to be sought for absence, the use of employer supplied kit, the "fit" of a role within a format are all also included but carry much less weight. The FTT does not consider anything that might be a right arising from an employment (entitlement to holiday pay for example) because this is never part of the equation. They can't consider a nothing. Their job is to apply tax law to a given set of circumstances.
Far from a myth we have new reality. The legends of the past can be left undisturbed as not even their ghosts have any impact in a modern case.
As to the rather unworthy implication that I am sympathetic to HMRC, my record speaks for itself. I have a degree of respect for HMRC front line officers doing a job that is not easy. It is not easy because those making policy are truely bought in to the "maximise revenue" agrument. they are prepared to almost literally throw people under the bus so ling as the target is reached and they get their gong.
31st Jul 2019
Happy to show you several hundred sets of materials in which the myth of using a PSC to protect against IR35 is stated as why you need to.
Have not seen one piece of marketing material that says you have to use a PSC to protecting the client from your claiming employment rights. If you have that, happy to do a swap.
31st Jul 2019
Ah, just worked out who you are.
We've had this debate elsewhere.
In that place I acknowledged that in a very specific set of circumstances - yours in fact from a long time ago and which are not really current - the link between tax and employment tribunals and the potential for one to influence another was a small element in the situation.
The Good Work report and the response make it clear that Government policy is NOT to have a link and therefore Judges in both will be mindful that whilst they can interpret law (and perhaps even make law in some cases), they cannot override Give't policy.
Being taxed at the same rate as an employee does not give you employment rights and going to an ET and claiming otherwise would be possible but unlikely to get you far.
31st Jul 2019
I'm not doubting the need to travel TO the place of work, but obtaining a contract and then living near the place of work is different.
Look at the tax case involving Tim Healy.
Self employed actor, living in Newcastle, gets a role in London, rents a place for the duration - relief refused.
As I said not enough space here for a debate on this and anyway - off topic.