G4S loses parking fine appeal

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Tom Herbert
Acting Editor
AccountingWEB
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A first-tier tax tribunal has ruled that security giant G4S cannot offset its parking fines against corporation tax, with a judge stating that G4S staff "consciously and deliberately" broke parking restrictions for commercial gain.

The tribunal (G4S Cash Solutions v HMRC TC05015 [2016]), heard evidence that G4S incurred 10,000 penalty charge notices (PCNs) a year from 2008 to 2010.

G4S argued that PCNs incurred while delivering consignments of cash to clients were a business expense, and therefore could be used to reduce profits for tax purposes. Through this scheme the company’s cash solutions arm aimed to reduce its corporation tax bill by £580,000.

G4S also claimed that it tried to keep staff safe by parking as close to the premises as possible.

However, judge Anne Scott rejected this claim, upholding the revenue’s long standing assertion that fines for breaking the law cannot be used to reduce a tax bill.

Commenting on the ruling HMRC’s director general of business tax, Jim Harra, said: “We’ve always said fines incurred for breaking the law are not tax deductible. The tribunal has now established a clear precedent for rejecting any future such claims.”

Responding to the verdict a G4S spokesperson said the company were “disappointed” by the decision, adding that they were “considering our position” with regards.

“Transporting cash is inherently dangerous and our cash teams are regularly subject to criminal attacks”, the spokesperson continued.

“By parking closer to pick-up destinations, we better protect our staff, customers and the public, but in so doing we regularly incur parking infringements.”

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25th Apr 2016 10:57

perhaps

I could claim for any speeding fines on the basis that in a car, I am inherently dangerous and that by speeding I am exposing other road users put at risk by my 'vitesse' for a shorter period of time.. 

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25th Apr 2016 11:43

extrapolate

that argument to the getaway car of robbers and add a parking fine to their list of offences?

OR, because the vehicle would most probably still be running and in gear - would it be classed as Loading or Unloading?

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By DMGbus
25th Apr 2016 13:33

There has to be a solution

G4S have a legitimate need to have the ability to deliver cash safely.

Why do local Council parking enforcers have the power to penalise this wholly essential need?

The fines should be challenged rather than paid and subsequently seek tax relief for.

If it is necessary (caused by ill-advised local Council rules) to park a van full of cash a further distance away from the delivery point then presumably G4S should sue the Council / parking authority for the cost of the resulting robbery.

Perhaps the local law implementation of parking restrictions (omitting essential exceptions for delivery vehicles requiring security) was where the legal challenge should have been made.  Perhaps the banks concerned should have threatened to close the local branches and encourage customers (potential shoppers) to visit their branches in competing nearby shopping centres, that'd go down well wouldn't it?

Basically I am saying it is a situation that should not have arisen and should never arise.

If a bank doesn't have secure arrangements to receive cash deliveries then it shouldn't have planning permission.   If the bank is moved from a position of having safe cash delivery arrangements to one of no longer having this then why can a local Council have the power to withdraw that facility?   

 

 

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By Watcher
25th Apr 2016 15:20

Blue badge holders are allowed to legally park on double yellow lines etc. Surely some similar system should be introduced for vehicles carrying large amounts of cash.  What next?  Are traffic wardens going to start issuing tickets to ambulances attending emergencies?  Maybe they could ticket fire engines and maybe prosecute them for blocking the pavements with their hoses.  As for police cars, I'm sure when called to a bank robbery they will first ensure they use the nearest "pay and display" when going to the bank.  

 

The Judge's ruling in this case is totally illogical. There are only three choices -

The tickets were correctly issued and are a business expense and therefore claimable against tax. The tickets were incorrectly issued and council's ordered to refund the fines. Security vans will now have to be parked sometimes long distances from the cash dispensing machines they are filling, and every G4S operative's life has now been pout at serious risk. 

The logical result of this ruling is that 3/4 of Britain's cash machines will soon disappear as it will be too dangerous to keep them filled.  

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25th Apr 2016 17:05

Surely it depends who issues these

Fully understand and support HMRC position on the breaking of laws to reduce tax however the question then arises as to what type of ticket has been raised and how it is dealt with in the eyes of the law

If it is a ticket issued by a council then it comes under the road traffic regulations and can be brought before a magistrates court and for these there is no other argument and these should be disallowed

But should the ticket be issued by a private party then G4 have made a commercial judgment that any excess charges incurred are wholly and exclusively for business to allow their staff to get easier and quicker access and the payment of these is through an invoice (PCN but it has to be remembered that these are not legally fines) and should G4 fail to pay the invoice the only recourse the other party has to recoup money is through the county court which makes these sufficiently different from a council issued ticket and prima facia i believe that these should be an allowed tax deduction

 

 

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26th Apr 2016 12:57

"It's the law"

Anyone notice that when "the law" results in more tax being due it's the word of law that is paramount but that if the law results in less tax being due then 'morality' and 'fairness' and 'paying your share' is suddenly brought into the argument?

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