Court of Appeal: SDLT not payable by company using Shari’a finance scheme –

‘Project Blue Limited (PBL) was not liable for stamp duty land tax (SDLT) in respect of its acquisition of the former Chelsea Barracks by means of a Shari’a finance scheme, the Court of Appeal has ruled.’

Full story, 31st May 2016


Pressure builds for investigation into London arms trade fair after judge sees evidence of illegal weapons sales – The Independent

‘Anti-arms trade campaigners have put pressure on the Government to act after officials’ business-as-usual response to a court ruling warning that illegal arms could be changing hands at at London arms fair.’

Full story

The Independent, 16th April 2016


Bristol man Attila Kovacs admits selling smuggled puppies – BBC News

Posted April 18th, 2016 in community service, dogs, HM Revenue & Customs, news, sentencing by sally

‘A man who admitted selling illegally imported puppies has been given a 200-hour community order.’

Full story

BBC News, 15th April 2016


HMRC investigates just 35 wealthy tax evaders per year, report reveals – Daily Telegraph

‘HMRC investigated just 35 wealthy people for tax evasion last year, prompting a committee of MPs to warn the level of action is “woefully inadequate” in the wake of the Panama Papers tax avoidance scandal.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 15th April 2016


Hargreaves v Revenue and Customs Commissioners – WLR Daily

Posted March 30th, 2016 in appeals, HM Revenue & Customs, income tax, law reports, taxation by sally

Hargreaves v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2016] EWCA Civ 174

‘The taxpayer stated on his self-assessment tax return that he was to be regarded as provisionally non-resident and not ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom with effect from a certain date. The revenue issued a discovery assessment against him under section 29 of the Taxes Management Act 1970 on the basis that he was not entitled to be treated as neither resident nor ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom for tax purposes as he had not taken sufficient steps to become non-resident. The taxpayer appealed, first, against the contention that he was not in fact resident or ordinarily resident here, and, second, against the discovery assessment, alleging that it had been made without the revenue having any power to do so and therefore was invalid. He applied for a direction that the second issue be heard as a preliminary issue on the basis that he wanted to be able to elect not to give evidence until the revenue had proved its case on the relevant conditions in section 29(3). The First-tier Tribunal dismissed the application, determining that he had no right to require the revenue to establish at a separate preliminary hearing against the discovery assessment the matters which under section 29 the revenue should establish to show that the discovery assessment was validly made and that while it had a discretion to order a separate preliminary trial, it would not do so. The Upper Tribunal dismissed the taxpayer’s appeal, concluding that the taxpayer did not have any relevant right to a preliminary hearing and that it was possible to have a single hearing even though there were different burdens of proof on the two issues in the present case and that it would need to hear evidence on the issues together.’

WLR Daily, 22nd March 2016


Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Apollo Fuels Ltd and others – WLR Daily

Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Apollo Fuels Ltd and others; [2016] EWCA Civ 157

‘The employers leased cars to their employees to enable them to carry out their duties. The cars were leased on arm’s length commercial terms, including lease charges at full market value. The revenue concluded that the provision of the cars was a taxable benefit, for the purposes of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, and served notices of assessment for that tax on the employees. The First-tier Tribunal allowed the employees’ appeal, holding that the provision of the cars was a “benefit” which fell within section 114 of the 2003 Act with the result that Chapter 6 of Part 3 of the 2003 Act applied. That decision was affirmed by the Upper Tribunal.’

WLR Daily, 17th March 2016


Council to share intelligence after discovery of £1.4m housing benefit fraud – Local Government Lawyer

‘The London Borough of Redbridge is to share information and intelligence with other councils and HM Revenue and Customs, after three people were found guilty of a £1.4m housing benefit fraud.’

Full story

Local Government Lawyer, 15th March 2016


High Court dismisses judicial review challenge to HMRC’s decision to restrict the availability of the Liechtenstein disclosure facility – RPC Tax Take

Posted February 22nd, 2016 in disclosure, HM Revenue & Customs, judicial review, news, taxation by sally

‘In R (on the application of City Shoes Wholesale Ltd) v Revenue & Customs Commissioners [2016] EWHC 107 (Admin), the High Court rejected an application for judicial review of HMRC’s refusal to grant the nine claimants, all of whom had operated employee benefit trusts (EBTs), the full benefits of the Liechtenstein disclosure facility (LDF). The court dismissed the claimants’ application for judicial review on the basis that their applications were never registered and therefore they had no legitimate expectation to receive full benefit of the LDF, and there had been no abuse of power or error of law by HMRC.’

Full story

RPC Tax Take, 18th February 2016


When is property added to a settlement “excluded property”? – New Square Chambers

Posted December 9th, 2015 in HM Revenue & Customs, inheritance tax, news, taxation by sally

‘The decision of Mann J. in Barclays Wealth Trustees (Jersey) Ltd and Michael Dreelan v HMRC [2015]EWHC 2878 (Ch) answers an important question regarding what is excluded property for purposes of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 s.48(3). This provides that foreign situs property which is settled property is excluded property for IHT purposes unless the settlor was domiciled in the U.K. at the time the settlement was made. Suppose a settlement was made when the settlor was domiciled outside the U.K, he subsequently becomes domiciled in the U.K and then adds foreign property to the settlement. Is the added property excluded property? HMRC have always contended that it is not. It has been argued in leading textbooks that it is. Mann J. has decided that HMRC are right.’

Full story

New Square Chambers, 1st December 2015


R (Derry) v Revenue and Customs Comrs – WLR Daily

Posted September 16th, 2015 in HM Revenue & Customs, income tax, judicial review, law reports, taxation, tribunals by tracey

R (Derry) v Revenue and Customs Comrs: [2015] UKUT 0416 (TCC); [2015] WLR (D) 379

‘Sections 132 and 133 of the Income Tax Act 2007 were consistent with paragraph 2 of Schedule 1B to the Taxes Management Act 1970 and the two sets of provisions could operate in conjunction.’

WLR Daily, 28th July 2015


David Bedenham Discusses HMRC’s Alcohol Wholesalers Registration Scheme that Commences on 1 October 2015 – 11 KBW

‘Alcohol duty fraud costs the treasury an estimated £1 billion per annum. HMRC has stated that
‘the wholesale sector is the major point where illicit alcohol is diverted by organised criminals into retail supply chains…this link in the supply chain is vulnerable because it is the only activity not required to be authorised by HMRC…Introducing a requirement for wholesalers to register with HMRC will address this and reduce opportunities for fraud.’’

Full story

11 KBW, 4th September 2015


Ancient Greek relic looted from Libya to be returned – Daily Telegraph

Posted September 2nd, 2015 in artistic works, assets recovery, fraud, HM Revenue & Customs, news by sally

‘Judge orders the 4ft marble statue smuggled into Britain in 2011 was “unlawfully excavated”.’

Full story

Daily Telegraph, 1st September 2015


Ingenious film investors lose human rights challenge over upfront tax – The Guardian

‘More than 150 wealthy investors in controversial film investment schemes, which HMRC says amount to tax avoidance, have lost a human rights challenge to new powers tax inspectors have been deploying to demand upfront payments.’

Full story

The Guardian, 31st July 2015


UK Supreme Court upholds HMRC’s position in gaming machine VAT case –

Posted July 13th, 2015 in appeals, gambling, HM Revenue & Customs, interpretation, news, Supreme Court, VAT by tracey

‘The element of chance in a computerised slot machine connected to a separate random number generator (RNG) was still “provided by means of the machine” for the purposes of VAT legislation, meaning that the takings from that machine were subject to VAT, the UK’s highest court has confirmed.’

Full story, 10th July 2015


Rank Group plc v Revenue and Customs Comrs – WLR Daily

Rank Group plc v Revenue and Customs Comrs: [2015] UKSC 48; [2015] WLR (D) 299

‘Slot machines operating through multi-terminal systems in which random number generators (“RNGs”) were housed separately from the terminals were to be treated as composite machines providing players with an element of chance in the game within the meaning of section 26 of the Gaming Act 1968 and Group 4, item 1, note (3) of Schedule 9 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994. The takings from such machines were, accordingly, not exempt but liable to value added tax.’

WLR Daily, 8th July 2015


Upper Tribunal: Ocean Finance VAT arrangements could stand as not ‘wholly artificial’ –

Posted June 10th, 2015 in advertising, HM Revenue & Customs, news, tax avoidance, tribunals, VAT by sally

‘HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) should not look beyond the contractual arrangements that govern a company’s structure when establishing liability for VAT unless those arrangements do not reflect “economic and commercial reality”, a tribunal has ruled.’

Full story, 5th June 2015


Avoidance scheme effective despite HMRC’s attempt to rely on Ramsay – RPC Tax Take

Posted March 31st, 2015 in appeals, corporation tax, HM Revenue & Customs, news, tax avoidance, tribunals by sally

‘In Gemsupa Limited and Consolidated Property Wilmslow Limited v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 0097 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) (“FTT”) found that an avoidance scheme designed to avoid corporation tax on chargeable gains on the disposal of properties through the use of share sales and options to create and then disband a group was effective.’

Full story

RPC Tax Take, 25th March 2015


Regina v Doran and another – WLR Daily

Regina v Doran and another [2015] EWCA Crim 384; [2015] WLR (D) 129

‘A surveillance operation mounted by Revenue and Customs because they suspected that a consignment of cigarettes were being imported with the purpose of evading the duty payable did not result in a disconnection between the goods and the importers. Revenue and Customs were thereby monitoring the import, not controlling it, so that a judge was entitled to find that the importers were “holding” the goods within the meaning of regulation 13(1) of the Tobacco Products Regulations 2001 and, by that means, were retaining their connection with the goods at the excise duty point.’

WLR Daily, 17th March 2015


Tribunal finds in favour of property developer who was not trading – RPC Tax Take

Posted March 19th, 2015 in appeals, HM Revenue & Customs, news, rent, tribunals by sally

‘In Terrace Hill (Berkeley) Ltd v HMRC[1], the First-tier Tribunal (“the FTT”) rejected HMRC’s arguments and concluded that a property developer’s activity in relation to the development of an office property was an investment rather than a trading activity and allowed its appeal.’

Full story

RPC Tax Take, 11th March 2015


Disclosure requirements for ‘high risk’ UK tax avoidance scheme promoters come into force –

Posted March 11th, 2015 in disclosure, HM Revenue & Customs, news, tax avoidance by tracey

‘Promoters of tax avoidance schemes that have been identified as “high risk” by UK tax authorities must now publicise that they are being monitored so that potential customers are aware of the risks of using them, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced.’

Full story, 10th March 2015