Dr Long, having self-reported an error in her 2010/11 tax returns for her private hypnotherapy business, was asked by HMRC to produce her business diary in support of her self-assessment tax return.
Dr Long argued that such a demand would infringe on her patients’ confidentiality rights. HMRC conducted an internal review of the case, and determined that Dr Long could not use patient confidentiality as a defence against handing over the diary. However, at the tribunal the judge found that the business diary was unnecessary in the investigation of her tax affairs.
As per Pulse Today, Judge J Gordon Reid found that:
"Dr Long has been cooperative in relation to HMRC’s enquiries.He cited a ruling from a European Court of Human Rights case from 1997 that found:
The appeal is allowed. Dr Long does not have to produce her business appointments diaries to HMRC."
"Respecting the confidentiality of health data is a vital principle in the legal systems of all the Contracting Parties to the Convention. It is crucial not only to respect the sense of privacy of a patient but also to preserve his or her confidence in the medical profession and in the health services in general."Baker Tilly tax partner Andrew Hubbard said:
"I suspect that even if it hadn’t been a doctor’s case the tribunal might have said that was a step too far, but the fact that it was a doctor and confidential information I think weighed the balance even more in favour the confidentiality [being protected].A spokesperson for the HMRC said:
While this ruling doesn’t say that under any circumstances a doctor’s diary is sacrosanct, I suppose you could say it is a win for reasonableness.
I suspect the message to doctors is that these paragraphs do exist and you don’t want to get into the position that she did. I suspect Dr Long is rubbing her wounds, but she took one to ensure her patients’ affairs remained confidential."
"We are considering the judgement."
Tax does have to be taxing.
Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations
Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.
Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.
However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.
What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?
Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.
To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance
HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"