NAO Queries HMRC Estate Plan

 

The National Audit Office (NAO) in a report has queried HMRC’s handling of it changing its estate from 170 local offices to just 13 regional centres (plus four specialist sites and a London HQ).
Particular problems identified were HMRC’s original plan being unrealistic and them not yet identifying the taxpayer service and HMRC’s internal administrative benefits.
In addition HMRC was impaired in doing what it wanted due in part to its Mapeley STEPS contract (when it sold and leased back its land estate).

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant
http://www.EamonMcNicholas.com

Advertisements
Posted in Tax and Accounting News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

EU and Special Sweetheart Tax Deals

The European Commission President, Mr Junker, is under pressure from some quarters to explain his alleged role in facilitating multi-national tax avoidance while Luxembourg prime minister.
Critics claim that while Luxembourg PM he helped give special sweetheart tax deals to multinational companies and tried to frustrate EU tax reform on corporate tax avoidance.
In his defence it is pointed out on behalf of Mr Juncker that as Commission President he has presided over an unprecedented wave of actions against tax avoidance. The Commission has been especially successful in using illegal state aid actions as a way to fight back against big multi-national tax avoidance.
It seems to me that Mr Juncker has preached EU-wide solidarity while also acting to look after the interests of his own country. All perfectly standard EU behaviour, that is how the EU club works.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant
http://www.EamonMcNicholas.com

Posted in Tax and Accounting News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reminder on Married Tax Allowance

HMRC are reminding people that there is a limited married or civil partnership tax allowance. A quick summary can be found on HMRC’s part of the Gov.UK website where they say :-
“Marriage Allowance lets you transfer £1,100 of your personal allowance to your husband, wife or civil partner – if they earn more than you.
This reduces their tax by up to £220 in the tax year (6 April to 5 April the next year).
To benefit as a couple, you (as the lower earner) must have an income of £11,000 or less.”

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant
http://www.EamonMcNicholas.com

Posted in Tax and Accounting News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Zurich Made to Pay Damages for Wrong Tax Advice

The High Court has found Zurich Assurance Ltd, and others, liable for bad inheritance tax (IHT) advice given to Mrs Lenderink-Woods. She had married a Dutch naval captain in WWII and not lived in the UK since 1948.
In bringing her claim she very impressively she gave video-link evidence aged 96. In finding against Zurich the Judge noted Zurich’s own media relations manager saying, when the Claimant was then aged 92, that :-
“The media would find it inexcusable that we have not been able to clarify the tax position much earlier – if we had we would have been able to avoid all of this and not had to make an offer which we later withdrew. The fact that she is so elderly certainly does not go in our favour!”
But still Zurich fought the case vigorously and were subject to criticism from the Court in taking a bad and losing point that a third party helping Mrs Lenderinck-Woods somehow debarred her claim. Zurich even talked of seeking costs from the third party, about which the Court noted:-
“Such behaviour has a chilling effect on those who advise clients who are pursuing claims against large providers of financial services.”
The Court found as a fact that the Claimant had made out her case of negligent tax advice. In assessing damages, at £223,000, the Court made an incisive point on its function in deciding quantum :-
“My task is to assess (not to compute) damages for the loss caused to Mrs Lenderink-Woods. I do not aim for spurious precision. All the work of the experts (for which I am grateful) enables me to reach broad conclusions even if I cannot myself undertake calculations.”
The case is reported as Lenderink-Woods v Zurich Assurance [2016] EWHC 3287 (Ch), Dec/16.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant
http://www.EamonMcNicholas.com

Posted in Tax and Accounting News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

HMRC Warning on Phising Scams

HMRC have put out another guide on recognising phising scam emails or texts.
It has useful sections on: email scam addresses, phishing emails, request for personal information, bogus callers or recorded messages and requests to complete tax forms online.
Examples are given of how to identify different types of scam.
The guide “Phishing emails and bogus contact: HM Revenue and Customs examples” is available from HMRC’s parts of the Gov.UK website.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant
http://www.EamonMcNicholas.com

Posted in Tax and Accounting News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ireland and Brexit

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) in Ireland has published a paper “Brexit: Ireland and the UK in numbers”. A special concern for Ireland is the impact on customs duties, VAT and other tax revenues and what happens to the free-movement Ireland-UK border, which is decades older that the EU’s.
The CSO figures show that for 2015 13.9% of goods exported went to the UK and 25.7% of imports came from the UK.
For the same year visitors from the UK accounted for 41% of all overseas trips to Ireland by non-residents and accounted for 23% (€971m) of total visitor expenditure (excluding fares).
Good to see some solid data on the impact of Brexit, as against the Remoaners project fear #2 and spin.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant
http://www.EamonMcNicholas.com

Posted in Tax and Accounting News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VAT Information Sheet 02/17 – Romanian VAT

VAT Information Sheet 02/17 has been published by HMRC.
It is a reminder that the rate of VAT in Romania went down from 20% to 19% as from 1st January this year.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant
http://www.EamonMcNicholas.com

Posted in Tax and Accounting News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment