Member Since: 5th Feb 2019
Doodney Tax Consulting
15th Aug 2021
On asking HMRC for their view generally there is no obligation to seek this because, with certain exceptions, and as with their published guidance, it isn't binding and doesn't have the force of law. The following from Gedir ( TC04974) is helpful (though for qualification of this view for 'non-complex' points, McCann ( UKFTT347) is also worth a read) :
 Nor is a taxpayer obliged to seek advice from HMRC. There may be occasions when it is helpful to ascertain HMRCʼs view on a particular provision, but the taxpayer does not necessarily have to agree with it! In a case where a range of views are possible, HMRC would be expected, and entitled, to take the view which is most advantageous to it in the same way as the taxpayer would be expected, and entitled, to take the view which is most in his favour.
11th Aug 2021
This was my case (as was May), and the facts here were stronger than in May in that the store clearly 'did more' in terms of function, which was why it cost so much more, whilst still clearly meeting the 'silo' definition accepted by the FTT in May. If the elements that contributed to this function, in particular the insulation integrated into (and inseparable from) the external steel walls and roof, were stripped away all that would have been left was the steel support frame rather than a 'general' building. This didn't feature as the criteria were met for other reasons, but I personally still think this is relevant factor if countering the HMRC 'it's just a building with a lot of stuff in it' arguments often run in plant function arguments.
14th Sep 2020
I agree and this was my case. Now the appeal period is passed I must say I couldn't understand why they would litigate this small case (still don't really) and that 'no future repairs' argument didn't make sense to me either. I can't see that it's for HMRC to effectively say to a taxpayer "you shouldn't repair something properly when you can bodge it annually"- apply that logic to, say, the braking system of an HGV and see how far that gets you!
10th Sep 2020
HMRC do now seem to be applying retrospection to areas outside of tax avoidance, which historically was the only area this really came up. The guidance at CH201300 does confirm that officers are required to act in accordance with HMRC guidance which does seem to call into question how retrospective application can be enforced.
2nd Sep 2020
That is an odd term if it comes from HMRC as references to behaviours would usually relate to inaccuracy penalty terminology and the behaviours for these are those of the client and not the agent. But then again what would I know, I'm not a member of a professional body so I must be part of the problem.
8th Apr 2020
OK, so this is a moral issue. How much empathy are wealthy people expected to show?
Why would you expect a young man with a stupid haircut to show public empathy (and open their wallets presumably) but not expect the same from other wealthy individuals when many of the latter arguably have a greater moral responsibility having built their fortunes directly from the work of the 'little people'?
Footballers are overpaid and often appear a bit dim on MOTD but I haven't seen them lobbying government for bailouts the way, to pick an example at random, Virgin has done (and not just over the current snafu, they did the same over Flybe).
Taken to its logical conclusion isn't Richard Branson as a wealthy tax exile seeking government support in a time of crisis in fact worse than the average footballer who does nothing but apparently operates in a 'moral vacuum'?
6th Apr 2020
OK, but if you're going to go after millionaires for not doing their bit maybe you should spread your net a bit wider. Matt Hancock singled out footballers for criticism but presumably ran out of time before working through the list of wealthy donors to his own party, none of whom are particularly visible in the philanthropy department at the moment and many of whom also have a long (and thanks to the Panama papers often a well documented) history of tax avoidance.
6th Mar 2020
I had a discussion with an HMRC reviewing officer last week who confirmed that the HMRC policy remains to ignore staleness on the grounds that it doesn't exist despite the fact that the CoA says it does and this approach is beginning to attract the ire of the FTT, so I don't expect this approach to change any time soon.
19th Nov 2019
Interesting article but I'm not sure I agree with the example used being described as 'tax avoidance', the gifting of property in a will such as this just looks like vanilla tax planning to me. I realise the boundary between the two can be blurred but this type of planning illustrates none of the convulated arrangements and 'odd' steps that I think of as associated with avoidance intended to achieve something not intended by Parliament.
5th Feb 2019
That was me, and I'm happy to clarify.
My witness statement only covered the apparent conflict of interest point. I was made redundant when HMRC restructured in 2015 and one firm I provide enquiry support to passed this to me for review in 2016, around 2 years after I had been last involved in it. When in HMRC I had been a consultant on the CA point only, never the case owner. I never personally approached the client or agent and I wanted to make it clear to the FTT that I hadn't just hopped over the back fence with the HMRC silver (which has been known to happen on occasion).
When in HMRC I never personally concluded that this did qualify for allowances, merely that it was more nuanced than I first expected and that I felt it warranted further consideration. The final HMRC 'view of the matter' was issued by another officer some time after I left HMRC and the final decision as to the facts was made by the FTT.