Monday 7 November 2011

The Fear

Christopher Lunn, the accountant who runs CLAC (Christopher Lunn and Company), which has been in a protracted dispute with HMRC, has been featured in the Telegraph.

The paper says that Mr Lunn claims that HMRC has attempted to frighten his clients into paying tax that they do not owe, and that the investigation has been "a catalogue of blunders".

His clients have received letters informing them that any tax rebates due have been frozen because of the investigation, and others urging them to make a full disclosure of any irregularities that they are aware of in previous tax returns.
One letter, dated July of this year, addressed clients who had not contacted HMRC "with the intention of making a full disclosure".

The letter added:

"I have noted that to date you have not contacted me with the intention of making a full disclosure. I will now be checking your tax returns and if I identify any irregularities then I will deal with these matters either by criminal or civil procedures open to HMRC depending on the nature of these irregularities. 
"Please note that until we have checked your Tax Returns, HMRC will not be making any repayment of monies shown as being overpaid."
HMRC have confirmed that Mr Lunn's clients are not being paid any money at present.

"We have endeavoured, throughout our dealings with CLAC's clients, to give them every opportunity to come forward and discuss their affairs with us.

We wrote to all clients on 29 July, 2011, explaining that repayments would not be made until all returns had been checked. All repayment claims are currently being reviewed and individual claimants will be contacted shortly."

No charges have been brought against Mr Lunn, and there is no suggestion that his clients deliberately mislead HMRC.
Clearly this is another case to watch with interest.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. There is a lot of discussion on various blogs from Lunn clients in the entertainment and media industries. That seems to show something is definitley up.

  2. This has been going on for quite some time. We often get messages on the intranet advising that CLAC (and it's other incarnations) are the ones under enquiry, not the clients. As usual we (the down trodden) very rarely get to see what letters are going out until after the fact.

  3. "An HMRC spokesman confirmed that Mr Lunn's clients were not being paid any money at present."

    I see it is only Hartnett that is not allowed to discuss tax payers affairs with people outside HMRC.

  4. @16.29

    And which taxpayers affairs were being discussed in the HMRC spokesmans statement??

  5. "HMRC raided Lunn's offices in June 2010, amid concerns about tax returns being filed by the firm. The taxman feared that one client had allegedly omitted £7,000 of income from their return, claimed that £65,000 of income came from a "non-domiciled distant relative" without the necessary supporting evidence, and said that a holiday in Palma had in fact been a business trip to New York.

    Another client submitted a return which had claimed no income from property, despite their bank statements featuring income labelled "rent".

    No charges have yet been laid. Lunn, a former bankrupt who is not registered with any professional accounting body, and his son Jonathan were arrested on suspicion of cheating the public revenue in June last year.

    Looks like Mr Lunn has been doing a bang up job.

  6. There certainly seem to be a lot of people in TV land having a look at their tax returns -possibbly for the first time....!! and being advised to look for mysterious additions of fees etc that they do not recall paying to CLAC..........

  7. Much easier to pay his clients their refunds, then try and claw them after his clients have "recalled " that they may have made "mistakes"......

  8. Anon @ 16:29...

    HMRC top lawyer forced to swear oath in Parliament...

  9. @23:07

    Disgraceful, forcing someone to discuss somebody else's financial arrangements in public. Should be done behind closed doors. Preferably cell doors in Hartnett's case.

  10. Forget this rubbish!

    Did anyone catch the PAC hearings yesterday? If you didn't, read this

  11. Yesterday's PAC hearing: