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HMRC withdraws 2,000 pay in advance tax notices

HMRC has had no choice but to withdraw some 2,000 Accelerated Payment Notices that demanded disputed tax payments, after conceding that they shouldn’t have issued the demands in the first place.

In a change of heart that

has caused some embarrassment to the tax body, the pay in advance tax demands were withdrawn after all conditions required to issue an APN were not met. This is on top of HMRC facing criticism earlier this month for failing to punish HSBC over accusations that its UK clients were helped by its Swiss bank to evade tax.

Adam Craggs, tax disputes chief and partner of RPC, a law firm based in London, said that numerous taxpayers have succumbed to the full power of APN’s already, with some having had to release their assets to meet the payment demands.

Craggs said:

“This case demonstrates the very real risks involved in giving such a draconian power to HMRC with no right of appeal to an independent tribunal or court. Many tax advisers and representative bodies argued at the time the APN legislation was proposed that there were insufficient checks and balances in place.”

Most businesses won’t be subject to such errors but it makes sense for firms to avoid appearing under HMRC’s radar in the first place, if possible. The smartest move that a business can make is to employ the services of an accountant in the Wirral to ensure that the books read as they should and that they are not forced to meet unnecessary and unfair payment demands.

Posted by Peter
January 19, 2016

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