Case Law

HMRC shown red card in referees’ employment taxes case

English football referees have won a First Tier Tribunal case against HMRC’s attempt to classify them as employees rather than self-employed for the purposes of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance Contributions (NICs). The case highlights the complexity that can exist in determining a person’s employment or self-employment status. Whilst a select group of the top English football referees are employed full-time by PGMOL (the Professional Game Match Officials Limited) most referees in professional English football referee in their spare ... Read More

Sick as a Parrott

Former Rangers players and staff paid through an offshore trust have been told they have weeks to approach HMRC over a settlement or face an even larger tax liability. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld a Court of Session ruling that £47m paid to Rangers employees between 2001-2010 from an Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) was taxable employment income. Now beneficiaries of the EBT, many of whom were led to believe these were loans that would not have to be repaid, are being warned ... Read More

Penalty Suspensions

Careless inaccuracies The recent case of a self-employed locum pharmacist Mr Bharat Patel TC04617: BHARAT PATEL [2015] UKFTT 445 (TC) offers encouragement to those asking HMRC to consider suspending penalties for ‘careless inaccuracies’ in their tax affairs. By way of context, where an error in a taxpayer’s affairs results from behaviour deemed to be ‘careless’ (as opposed to negligent or fraudulent), HMRC may suspend the penalties subject to certain conditions being met over a future period.  Provided the suspension conditions are satisfied, the ... Read More

A long time in the making

Taxpayer wins landmark LLC case The Supreme Court has allowed the taxpayer's appeal in Anson (formerly Swift) v HMRC, which has been something of a long-running saga. Originally heard in the First-tier Tribunal in 2010, the case concerns the UK tax treatment of Mr Anson, an individual member of a Delaware limited liability company (LLC). LLCs are a typically treated as 'transparent' for US tax purposes, whereas HMRC's long-standing view is that they should be regarded as 'opaque' for UK tax purposes. From ... Read More

When you can have your cake but can’t eat it

A number of recent tax case decisions have made interesting reading, mainly for the wrong reasons. They all focus on Tax Planning in one form or another, although the arrangements or tax planning structures behind each case were very different. Let’s start with two decisions from the Court of Appeal then, one for the Taxpayer and one against. Tower MCashback Firstly in HMRC v Tower MCashback LLP 1 & Anor, there were two main points up for consideration in connection with ... Read More

No Tax Reality but a silver lining?

The latest tax case, involving a tax avoidance strategy, to come before the First Tier Tribunal is the long awaited case involving Gilt strips, Andrew Berry v Revenue & Customs. There were very many versions of this planning at the time and it is likely that hundreds of people took part and have been waiting in anticipation for the result. This particular version was sold by Abacus Wealth Planning (“Abacus”) and the bank involved was SG Hambros. So what are ... Read More

Grays Timber Products Limited vs HMRC

The new UK Supreme Court has recently handed down its first unanimous Tax Decision in favour of HMRC in Grays Timber Products Limited v Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. The case is complex and will be of limited appeal generally as it concerns the value of employment-related shares and whether rights attaching to those shares were “intrinsic” or “extrinsic” and had any enhanced value to the purchaser. Grays Timber was sold to Jewson Limited in November 2003 for around £6m ... Read More