October was notable for its fake news. First, we were told the Budget Statement was to be delivered on 6 November, but then we were told it is not.
Here is a selection of other tax news items from October …
Non-residents Companies and UK Property
HMRC has updated its guidance to non-resident companies who are required to register for corporation tax as a result of a disposal of UK land on or after 6 April 2019. The guidance can be found here.
GAAR Advisory Panel Opinion
The General Anti-Abuse Rule Panel has ruled that certain arrangements involving employee shareholder shares are abusive. The decision can be neatly summarised by the statement in the published judgement: “Each shareholder under the arrangements is simply moving their entitlement to their share of the Company’s underlying profits from a left hand (taxable) pocket to a right hand (tax exempt) pocket”.
Armed with this decision, HMRC will now no doubt issue counteraction notices and seek to collect the tax it believes is due.
HMRC has released the October 2019 edition of the Employer Bulletin.
Annual Allowance Tax Charge
There has been an increase in recent months in the number of enquiries received by our telephone advice team and tax consultancy team on the subject of the pensions annual allowance tax charge, particularly from accountants with NHS doctor and consultant clients.
HMRC has recently updated its guidance on the ‘scheme pays’ option available to pension scheme members.
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group issued a news release explaining the effect of the trading and property allowances on an individual’s requirement to register for Self Assessment. Although aimed at individuals who were filing paper returns by the 31 October deadline, it contains a useful reminder that taxpayers who wish to register to file returns online will need to allow some time in advance of the 31 January deadline in order to complete the registration process.
It also includes links to further guidance on the allowances themselves.
HMRC has revised the Capital Allowances for Plant and Machinery Toolkit for the tax year 2018-19.
TAX CASE DECISIONS
Gary West  UKFTT 0602 (TC) – Pension liberation scheme
The taxpayer entered into a scheme involving the receipt of a loan. Unknown to him, the loan monies came from his pension scheme and were subsequently found to be liable to a 40% unauthorised payments charge. It is often said of tax planning that if it looks too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true. This case serves as a reminder that even when the taxpayer is the unwitting victim of an unscrupulous promoter, the Tax tribunal has no alternative but to uphold any valid assessments issued by HMRC.
R (for Aozora GMAC Investment Ltd) v HMRC  EWCA Civ 1643 – Legitimate expectation
The Appeal Court’s decision in this Judicial Review case makes it clear that seeking redress from HMRC for losses suffered by following their published guidance is not likely to be successful unless there are exceptional circumstances. It also makes it clear that tax advisers must take great care when using HMRC guidance in support of their advice.
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