Two separate cases, involving the same tax agent, show how taxpayers can be conned by rogue agents and end up in trouble with HMRC.
Shaun McCumiskey lost his job in July 2015, and was in a bad way mentally and physically, with no permanent home of his own. He undertook a small amount of work as a self-employed electrician earning around £2,500 in 2015/16, which had to be reported to HMRC.
McCumiskey met Stefan Brown in his local pub. Brown is a director of Alpha Tax Consultants Limited (“Alpha”), and McCumiskey instructed Brown (as a representative of Alpha) to submit his tax return.
The tax return submitted in McCumiskey’s name was sent to HMRC by Capital Allowance Consultants Ltd (“Capital”), which is the correspondence address of another one of Stefan Brown’s former companies: Investments for EIS Limited. Although the tribunal noted that Brown was neither a director nor employee of Capital.
The purported tax return included income of £30,000, no deductions for expenses, and a fraudulent claim for relief under the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) for £15,000. McCumiskey had not made an investment under SEIS and was unaware of the claim.
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