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Consultants – HMRC’s Retrospective Tax Claim

Over the past few years HMRC has been busy contacting consultants who have been, until recently, legally using loopholes in UK tax law to reduce their tax burden. Whilst the loopholes have become tighter, and in some cases closed, HMRC has also decided to retrospectively apply these tax laws leaving thousands of contractors with enormous tax bills.

Unfortunately the bad news does not stop there. At the back end of 2015 a First-Tier Tax Tribunal ruled in favour of HMRC, in an appeal case brought about by IT Consultant Robert Huitson. The ruling deemed that despite the fact that Huitson avoided paying tax on his earnings in an entirely legal matter, he now owes around £200,000 according to the new rules. Huitson’s claim that it was unlawful to change tax laws retrospectively has not been upheld.

So what does this mean for contractors who are being pursued by HMRC for retrospective tax claims?

If you are a contractor who has historically used tax avoidance schemes such as Employee Benefit Trusts, offshore umbrella companies or Dual Tax Agreements then it is highly likely that HMRC will have been in touch.

The Huitson case is important because, in the eyes of some experts, it paves the way for HMRC to use retrospective legislation to close down loopholes and pursue those using them to relieve their burden of tax.

Unless you are willing to go to tribunal, the bottom line is that you may have to settle with HMRC and get your financial house in order. On the other hand, it is essential to realise that HMRC do not have the final word on their own tax investigations.

This is where I come into the equation. 

I am Martyn Arthur and I have over 40 years of experience in dealing with HMRC tax investigations and Tax Appeal Tribunals. I have an exceptional track record of negotiating with the tax authorities, representing clients at Tribunal and crucially, winning appeals against HMRC. I offer a free appraisal, charge a fixed fee and provided a fully comprehensive service that deals with all types of investigations, from the most simple through to criminal.

If you are under investigation or wish to appeal against a ruling by HMRC please get in touch and we can discuss your case. I will explain the procedures involved, how long the case is likely to last and we can make the necessary arrangements to take the case forward.



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