The Court of Appeal has ruled that non-tax specialist accounting firms do not have an open-ended liability for tax advice. In Mehjoo vs. Harben Barker  EWCA Civ 358 an Iranian businessman living in the UK since 1971 and a UK citizen had successfully sued Harben Barker (HB) for not recommending a capital gains tax scheme using the fact he was, or might have been, Iranian domiciled. But the Court of Appeal judged HB had never held itself out as specialist tax planners but were generalist accountants providing just routine tax advice as shown by their retainer. As Patten J put it HB were under no duty to advise on tax advantages which, to their reasonable knowledge, did not exist.
Tax Barrister, Accountant