Archive for January, 2014

Tax Management: Complexity Does Not Equal Effectiveness

In a case which underlines that, when it comes to tax management, complexity does not always equal effectiveness, an investor’s attempt to achieve a £1.2 million income tax deduction through a series of offshore asset transfers has fallen on fallow ground at the Court of Appeal. The relevant tax management scheme involved a transaction whereby gilts were transferred and re-transferred between the investor and a company registered in the British Virgin Islands. The scheme sought to exploit the fact that tax legislation offers two separate forms of relief in some circumstances where securities are transferred. However, it would only be effective if it could be established that both ‘accrued interest’ relief and ‘manufactured interest’ relief were applicable. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) disputed the deduction claimed and the First-tier Tribunal, whilst accepting that accrued interest relief was available, ruled that manufactured ... Read more

Alligator Skin Hermes Handbag Seized at Heathrow

A businesswoman who was caught out by endangered species protection laws when border control officers seized an alligator skin Hermes handbag at Heathrow airport has failed to convince a tax tribunal that the luxury item should be returned to her. The handbag was intended as a Christmas gift for the woman’s mother, a non-UK resident, and had been purchased in America by a family friend. It was brought into the UK by another third party who declared it in the red channel and presented a purchase receipt and a certificate from the manufacturer. However, in the absence of the required import/export documentation, officers seized the handbag under the terms of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Following a review, the decision not to restore the handbag was upheld by the Director of Border Revenue and its forfeiture and ... Read more

Court Guidance on Mental Impairment and Sexual Relations

In a guideline case which begged the question of when it is appropriate for society to intervene paternalistically in an individual’s choice whether or not to enter into sexual relations, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a woman who suffered severe brain damage during surgery nevertheless has the mental capacity to consent to intimate contact with her boyfriend. Medical experts and care professionals had expressed deep concerns that the woman might come under pressure to agree to sex. She had endured bouts of amnesia and acute confusion and it was said that she was incapable of weighing up information concerning the risks of pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. The woman had, prior to the operation, led a chaotic lifestyle and had an extensive history of drug and alcohol abuse. Her boyfriend also had a troubled background and had a significant ... Read more

Businessman Granted £46,000 Share Loss Tax Relief

In a case which highlighted the vital distinction for tax purposes between shares that are acquired by subscription on issue, and those that are subsequently purchased, a businessman has convinced a tribunal that he is entitled to £46,000 in tax relief in respect of a shareholding that had become of negligible value. The businessman and three colleagues had agreed to subscribe for £225,000 worth of new shares in the company for which they worked in order to alleviate its cash-flow difficulties. However, he was going through a divorce at the time; his assets had been frozen and he was unable to pay for the shares immediately. One of the businessman’s colleagues agreed to subscribe for 18 shares in the company on his behalf. Those shares were transferred to the businessman a few months later on his payment of £46,000 to his ... Read more
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