Retired. but still a trustee of a charity, and work on a relative's private company
So how will this affect a householder who left his PPR in 2006 after 14 years living in it, lets it for 14 years, and sells it in 2020.
One would like to think the letting gain up to budget day would be allowed to stand, but the point mustn't be overlooked.
One of your former colleagues (50+ years ago!) said it was assessed as furnished lettings.
I would have thought as general trading the capital allowances claim would have been a bit embarassing.
I wrote: "We have changed our professional accountant following the retirement of our existing accountant in practice. this has involved us in fee protection insurance."
This may have given the impression that our retired advisor didn't use FPI. He did, through FSB. (I didn't use FSB for any other purpose, but for a very small practice it was the cheapest way of getting FPI).
If, unlike their client, your predecessors had made full disclosure, presumably HMRC could not have reopened years once the enquiry window had closed.
You were right to make your client persist with the case. I had a client, a professor, whose substantial working library of books , some of them antique, was regarded as unnecessary by HMRC, and capital allowances challenged, when I brought it into the capital allowances claim, having been missed by my predecessor. He was reluctant to resist, preferring to spend his time more usefully, but I pointed out to him that HMRC might be testing the water, and his colleagues in that department might find their libraries challenged. (Professors one year, pole dancers the next!)We were 85% successful in our claim, following a requirement for HMRC for an analysis of the use to which the books were put, some were not sufficently relevant to his field. Our success might have been because I was able to produce a copy of a letter from another inspector to a professor in another university (name and references blacked out), refusing revenue treatment of his books and actually requiring me to provide a capital allowances computation, obviously indicating that other Districts weren't contending that a University professor didn't need reference books.
When I brought in the library, I provided a full list of titles and estimate of value, and how it had been arrived at. Consequently, when HMRC offered agreement without penalties and earlier years left as they were, I think this was because the window had closed anyway.
Thank you, Jack the Lad.
I have been retired for about 8 years, but I still have an interest in the case, as I am a trustee of one charity and internal accountant to a family member's private company, so I still play with spreadsheets and ETB.
We have changed our professional accountant following the retirement of our existing accountant in practice. this has involved us in fee protection insurance. Do you regard this as essential, and were you happy with the results? (Obviously I'm not asking you for figures).
(Incidentally, I'm surprised the Learned Judge didn't go down to Stringfellows to see for himself, and nor did HMRC. They might have preferred it to clambering over building sites looking at what we successfully claimed was an industrial building.
As a retired user, be still using HMRC sites for trusteeship responsibilities and my own, I'm not sure how useful my comment will be, but here goes: HMRC used to have their own website. It was possible to reach an item in the published manuals , or statutes, but searching it. As Wendy says, you have to know what you are looking for. But assuming you do , search for an item now and you are taken through everything the Government does, probate, planning permission etc. This is not without its frustration factor. If they are hacking it about anyway, can this be addressed?
With most aspects of tax, it's often quicker just to google it.
My understanding is that the really big tax avoidance schemes are operated by Barclays Bank.
Aggressive tax avoidance, of the sort that gets a scheme number and needs to be notified under DOTAS, is highly specialised, expensive , and strongly disliked by most accountants in practice. I am appalled by the ignorance on the subject in the media. I have even heard ISAs described as avoidance.
Mr McDonald needs to take care. I remeber reading years ago that certain legislation on capital allowances arose because of avoidance by nationalised industries.
Every morning I rise and give thanks that I have retired.
Is there a possibility-perish the thought!- that by making the legislation impenetrably complex, the Government can do what it likes?
Did he receive any fees?
In many small practices the client paid a monthly standing order based on the accountant's estimate of the cost. Did the "accountant" have such an arrangement, and if the client was that negligent he would probably let the standing order run year after year.
Personally I never favoured this arrangement. The only people likely to take it up generated cost over-runs anyway.
I used to do the tax returns for a relative until I retired, after which he did them himself. He became seriously ill at the beginning of the year, and could not handle his own affairs. I discovered I still had a 64-8 authority, so in January I contacted HMRC to ask them to waive penalties in advance. 2014-2015 had not yet been filed. A human being in HMRC (they still have some) gave me details of past returns, while waiving the penalties. A chronic deadline-hugger, he had filed 2012-2013 on 31/01/2014. In his haste , he had claimed tax relief for a stakeholder pension, but forgot the employment pages, which should have put him into higher rate. HMRC had calculated the liability (nil), and taken no further action. With a little help from his employers , and some reluctant help from his pension providers, I filed an amended return. He had taken out more pensions, so the liability was small, and they wrote it off.
The point of all this is to say that a tax return filed with no income was accepted, presumably without human intervention. Blank tax returns do not automatically provoke enquiries.