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Green sues FRC

Sir Philip Green has started a rare legal action against the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) over its investigation into the accounting for the retail chain BHS, which Sir Philip ran before selling just before it collapsed. Sir Philip is seeking judicial review to stop FRC publishing its entire findings, it was disclosed on 18 June 2018. The application is made in the name of Taveta Investmen...
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Novation of land contract

The novation of a land contract is not an exempt supply of land for VAT purposes. The issue was said to have been complicated by the way the transactions were undertaken. In particular, it was not clear who had what equitable interest in the property at particular times. The tribunal found that the company did not supply an interest in land. Instead the company supplied the right or opportun...
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Allocation of debts and reasonable excuse

A company did not have reasonable excuse when HMRC allocated a payment to a debt covered by a Time To Pay (TTP) to an earlier debt. The payment was a repayment of VAT. A taxpayer providing funds to HMRC may dictate as to what tax debt is being paid. In the absence of such direction, HMRC may allocate the payment as it sees fit. The tribunal has no jurisdiction over such a decision. Neither t...
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VAT on “Cellect”

A food supplement called Cellect was correctly classified by Customs as "miscellaneous edible preparations - food preparations not elsewhere specified....". This is Combined Nomenclature code 2106 90 92. It was imported from the USA. Accordingly her import was subject to 12.8% customs duty and 20% import VAT. These amounted to £39.62 and £69.84. The claimant believes that the substance could...
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Brexit bill clears Parliament

The troubled Brexit bill finally cleared all its parliamentary hurdles on 20 June 2018. The EU (Withdrawal) Bill now awaits Royal Assent to become law. The final vote in the House of Commons was 319 for, 303 against. Six Conservative MPs voted against, including former Chancellor Kenneth Clarke. Four Labout MPs backed the government while another six abstained. The Bill was threatened with a...
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HMRC “allowed” extra time

An appeal against a VAT default surcharge succeeded when the trader had spoken to HMRC to say that a payment he believed was due on Saturday could not be paid until Monday. HMRC said the payment could be made on the Monday. Accordingly the trader did not ask for Time To Pay. The surcharge was £6,039.48 which is 15% of £40,263.22. Payment of VAT was due on 7 January 2017 which was a Saturday....
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Whether FPS transfer limit is reasonable excuse

  The taxpayer owed £20,224 in VAT for a quarter due by 7 February 2017. It paid in two instalments: £10,000 on 8 February and £10,224 on 9 February. HMRC issued a default surcharge of £2,022.40 as 10% of the tax. A direct debit was in place, but the money was not collected. On discovering this, the company attempted to make a Faster Payments Service (FPS) payment. This failed because, ...
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Insufficient funds in one account

There was no reasonable excuse for not paying VAT by the due date when HMRC delays taking the payment, nor when the taxpayer has funds in another account. A company paid its VAT on 2 December, well before the due date. HMRC did not draw the funds until 11 January, 40 days later. By that time, the account did not have enough funds to clear. A default surcharge was issued. When submitting an o...
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Delay in bank transfer by 3 minutes

A company successfully appealed against a VAT penalty of £6,514 for being one day late in submitting a VAT return, following defaults for previous periods. The company had an unusually large VAT payment of £325,740.09 for the quarter in question. It processed the payment through its online banking arrangement with Barclays Bank at 5.36pm on 7 February, the due date. The system did not pro...
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Connection to VAT fraud

An established family business dealing in metal was found to have known, or should have known, that a supposed export deal was connected with fraud. There were doubts about whether goods had been exported at all and whether fraud was involved. Millions of pounds were involved. The hearing lasted for 13 days and heard from 19 witnesses. The tribunal's conclusion, summarised in paragraph 326, ...
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