Tribunal rules in favour of timeshare boss

Kashflow logo
Share this content

A gift of $2m from a former shareholder to an ex-employee of a timeshare property company after the sale of the company should not be taxed as earnings from the individual's employment, a tribunal has ruled.

The tribunal decided that the appellant, Colin Collins, had not been negligent in failing to report the payment on his tax return or seek tax advice.

In the case (Colin Collins versus the commissioners for HMRC, TC02088), Collins, a former managing director at a timeshare company, Resort Condominiums International (RCI), was given a personal cheque for $2m from his previous employer, Christel DeHaan, four years after he had resigned from his role with the RCI and after Mrs DeHaan had sold RCI.

Please Login or Register to read the full article

The full article is available to registered members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register. Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.

About Nick Huber

Nick Huber profile image

I’m a specialist business journalist and have a particular interest in tax and technology. 


Please login or register to join the discussion.

14th Aug 2012 13:16

It seems like more evidence (see Redknapp) that there needs to be a change in tax law so that there is a presumption that monies received from employers, previous employers and persons connected with them relate to employment.

Thanks (2)
14th Aug 2012 15:10

A Vegas hotel room?

Interesting that HMRC never tried a Donna Asutaits style argument that the £2m cheque was for "services rendered" in the hotel room.



Thanks (1)
15th Aug 2012 09:23


*sharp intake of breath* when I spotted the company involved.

I wonder if his "special contributions" extend to putting his call centre offshore to get around UK cold calling laws.



Thanks (0)
15th Aug 2012 12:21

Steady on

Regardless of what you think about the individual, the employer, the owner and their practices, this is purely and simply a tax matter and should be judged on that basis.

The law is fairly clear here so I do not see why there needs to be a presumption.  I bought my staff ice creams last week out of my money not from the business.  Should we presume the ice cream is employment connected?  It's not a question of scale, 50p or $2,000,000, it's down to law.

Here HMRC felt it was employment related the taxpayer did not.  The Tribunal judge, who weighed all the evidence decided in favour of the taxpayer.

Yes, I think Redknapp got away with it.  If not his dog was a financial mastermind.

Asutaits was earning, there was no dispute.  Did they get her for not registering for VAT as well?  $2,000,000 not £2,000,000.

I do not like sharp practices with offshore call centres either but if the special contribution was doing that HMRC's arguments must have been really poor to have lost.

Thanks (1)
15th Aug 2012 13:07

Sounds like a personal gift to me.

There was no contractual obligation to 'pay' this individual based on his previous employment contract and it came out of the personal monies of the owner of the company.

Furthermore, HMRC tried to take (steal) £1,011,857 of this £2m, ridiculous, outrageous and simply unfair tax levels/fines.


Thanks (0)
15th Aug 2012 13:39


not illegal....although one wonders why the ex MD wasn't rewarded at the time (indeed why did he 'resign'...)....and why then re-employed....golden handshake?


It may well be down to the law.....but scale does have an impact.....(see how you fair when run over by a car going 31mph vs one going 50 mph in a 30 area....) 

Thanks (2)
15th Aug 2012 13:47


The point being really is how much reliance you place on the words coming out of the exec's mouths given the day job is hard selling.

It seems highly suspect to me if you read the case, with IRS all over the nature of the payments to start with, the money being stashed offshore and no tax paid on the interest. The ex-owner in the middle of an earn out etc etc.

This isnt really the story of  Mr Whiter than White getting a gift and the evil HMRC trying to tax him on it.

Its the story of a murky set of deals in a murky business and trying to work out the tax effect. Put it this way if the donee got a tax deduction (which they didnt ever fathom out) it would appear odd that its not taxed on the other side, although I appreciate tax isn't logical like that.



Thanks (3)
15th Aug 2012 18:01

good luck to him

we need far more generosity in life

Thanks (0)
15th Aug 2012 19:34

I can just imagine
that he was on the bones of his @rse at the time....bless

Thanks (0)