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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Tuesday, 21 April 2009
Barrister Keith Gordon, of Atlas Chambers, has set up a blog covering his appeal against the right of HMRC to ask the "service company" question in tax returns.
This question was introduced in 2008, and has caused controversy over its legality and confusion as to what constitutes a "service company".
Needless to say, if the hapless taxpayer neglects to fill in the "service company" section of the tax return (where he technically should have done) even though his tax return gives rise to an accurate assessment of his tax liability, he will liable to a fine.
Barrister Gordon is of the view that a tax return should be designed so as to include only questions that are statutorily permitted, and directly relevant the calculation of an individual's tax liability for the year under review.
"HMRC do not have the right to ask additional questions merely on the grounds that it is administratively convenient (for them) for such questions to be addressed."
He goes on to warn of the dangers of the new powers given to HMRC as from 1 April 2009. They permit HMRC to ask any taxpayer for any information "reasonably required by [HMRC] for the purpose of checking the taxpayer's tax position"
HMRC have until 13 May to respond to his appeal.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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