After Montpellier last December, more unlawful APNs are being withdrawn following challenge by the taxpayer. This time it is for the Premier Strategies structure
May 27, 2016 5:43 pm
HMRC backs down on upfront payment of disputed tax
“A legal challenge has forced HM Revenue & Customs to back down over hundreds of tax demands issued to users of offshore trusts.
HMRC’s decision to withdraw demands to produce cash up front — known as “accelerated payment notices” — followed the launch of judicial review proceedings by scheme users who argued they should be exempt. (…)
Adam Craggs, partner at RPC, a law firm that brought the challenge, accused HMRC of taking a “shoot first and ask questions later” approach to the notices. He said they had a potentially serious impact on taxpayers including the risk of “being made bankrupt or being forced to conduct a fire sale of their home or other assets in order to raise sufficient funds”.
The move is the second time HMRC has been forced to withdraw accelerated payment notices. In January, up to 2,000 individuals who used employment tax schemes promoted by Montpelier Tax Consultants, an Isle of Man-based firm, won a reprieve.”
Dotas Scandal are fully expecting a “sorry for the inconvenience“ note to be sent by HMRC to those who were forced into fire sales of their family homes and to the families of those who just couldn’t cope with the bullying anymore.
We are on record maintaining for 2 years+ that the basis of operation of the APN regime would be “issue APNs to everyone and their dog, and count on taxpayers not having the know-how and funding (especially AFTER they have been forced to pay) to challenge the lawfulness of the demands”.
That’s terminal machiavellianism, directly in contravention of HMRC’s charter mandating fairness to all (NOT “unfairness to all”), and in striking contradiction with the reassurances given to the Treasury Select Committee: “HMRC will only seek accelerated payment in cases where there has already been a tribunal decision in their favour” (Lin Homer 09/07/2014)
How long will HMRC be allowed to continue?
“Imagine my shock when the APN was more than five times more than I thought it would be”. “I thought I was going crazy.” After weeks of going back and forth with the Revenue, the authority has acknowledged the mistake and promised to reissue the payment notice. “One has to wonder if this was a deliberate mistake on their part.”
This experience has been relatively common, said Michael Avient, personal tax partner at UHY Hacker Young. “Great care needs to be taken [by taxpayers] to make sure that the amounts are calculated correctly.” Mr Avient added, however, that it was inevitable that errors would occur given the volume of payment notices that HMRC is issuing.
The taxpayer described the process as a source of “acute stress”, adding that the tax bill arrived before his disputed arrangement has gone before the courts. “I really don’t have tens of thousands in spare cash to pay a bill I don’t even owe.”
“Law abiding citizens like myself who invested in schemes which were totally lawful, and in many cases actually promoted by the government, are being treated worse than common criminals,” he said. “It’s totally scandalous.”
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If you have received an APN with a completely wrong amount, or an APN for a year that HMRC is not entitled to, please contact us