I sympathise with the few that are genuinely vulnerable individuals, however at some point your client (as an example) must have realised that they were working through an umbrella company and not paying any tax, then subsequently were running their own company for a number of years without paying any tax, presumably they had an accountant advising them and preparing their accounts? Even if they failed to get any professional advice from their own accountant, would they not have had the sense to seek out professional advice elsewhere, HMRC, read the papers, or even used Google or spoken to their husband/wife/family, or spoken to the council, or the agency, or any one of their colleagues that would have been in exactly the same position as themselves.
I have plenty of IT contractors, who within the same investment bank sit opposite employees, other IT contractors using PSC's, some of whom entered into loan schemes and some of whom didn't. They work together, talk amongst themselves every day, go for lunch together, go for drinks in the evening, as well as liaising with the HR department of the company, they were all fully aware of the risks and benefits, some chose to take that risk, some didn't. They all knew it was wrong (I would suggest that a social worker is far more likely to realise that it was morally wrong than an IT contractor!), but took that chance, received the financial benefit of doing so and have had numerous years to prepare themselves for the tax bill. The fact that they either invested that money into bricks and mortar, or p*ssed it up the wall, is irrelevant.
Of course HMRC were useless at handling it, that's not a surprise, but it's not a get out of jail free card for those that knowingly used the schemes.
For clarity, I've never used a scheme or offered schemes to clients, but I have obtained new clients who used such schemes, each liability has now been settled via instalments, each client had entered the schemes knowing that ultimately they would have to pay the tax but it gave them the cash-flow benefit they needed at the time.
Assurance Director at a Big 4 firm, salary range between £95k and £190k according to salary surveys. I don't think that 2 hours overtime a day garners much sympathy. Despite having an entire valuations team at his disposal, they weren't used. How the other half live.
Can’t help feeling that these articles are becoming a little “have you been injured at work, suffered a slip, trip or fall, or taken out PPI”.
She relied on a tax barrister......would be interesting to know if she received any of that advice in writing or if it was just 3rd party pub talk via the client. Any repercussions now on him?
So that read something like.......
Sorry I spilt your pint, but don’t worry i’ll steal a bit of money off everyone else in the pub without them knowing it and they’ll buy you another, if I was actually sorry then i’d Contribute myself out of my own pocket but i’m not, so i won’t. Besides I finish work at 5pm, and don’t work Thursdays.
Such a shame that we don't get to find out the true name of Mrs B, I pity the next firm of accountants that has the pleasure of her as a client, not knowing her nature and history.
Briefly looking at a few of the other ICAEW orders...….number 5 practised for 14 years without a certificate resulting in fines and costs of about £6,150.
Number 8 practised for 5 years without a certificate, fines and costs of £2,317.
Number 10 practised without a certificate for 9 years with a penalty of £700.
With practising certificate fees at £335 per annum, I wouldn't call these penalties, they're more like an extended credit line with generous discounts for bad behaviour. If the firms/individuals didn't bother with a practising certificate, then did they also not bother with the cost of PII, or CPD? As well as avoiding the ongoing admin time, costs and stress of general regulation, audit and quality assurance visits from the ICAEW.
There must be a tremendous amount of undisclosed background information, because on the face of it the decisions are ludicrously inconsistent and nonsensical.
Yes, I totally accept that staff may not have access to the legislation, google or even Accountingweb during working hours, and that they probably aren't given the time to research such things during the paid working day, but what I was getting at was the personal and professional pride that I simply assumed was human nature that someone who is in the business of advising or dealing with accountancy and tax-related matters (or infact absolutely anything in everyday life) , may perhaps have sufficient interest or pride to read and research around the job that they get paid for.
What I find so disappointing is that, regardless of how short staffed or underpaid or how much stress HMRC staff may be under (and I'd probably dispute at least 2 of these), why is it that individuals appear not to have any personal or professional inclination to actually read up on the laws, regulations, or general background area of things such as this. Whats happened to professional pride and competence, I can't imagine working in a job where I simply didn't care or couldn't be bothered to find out the actual facts or truth on topics that I'm advising people on. So as much as the middle and top brass at HMRC are to blame for the failings in the system, the lower level staff are possibly equally as bad for simply not caring, having pride in their job or being bothered to learn sufficiently about what they do.
I know that I spend tens if not a few hundred hours reading and learning about accountancy-related matters, the majority of which is done in my own time.
We rely on the judges to give us an honest appraisal of those firms, I sincerely hope that they have done a thorough job, it’s concerning that you say some of those firms have poor reviews from clients that are visible to any member of the public but are being considered as excellent, although to be fair we all have bad clients and fall-outs sometimes.
What I simply can’t begin to understand is that there are no financials or comments on the profitability of those firms, why on earth would I want to copy (or learn from) one of these winners if they’re making a measly profit, or even losses. What credibility is there that we can trust? We’re accountants, we love numbers,but we’re not given any.
I understand that not everyone wants their financials analysed but if you put yourself forwards for these awards then that’s the price of doing so.
Disgracefully sensible and top notch advice. I’m afraid you’ll never win any Practice Excellence awards though with that attitude!