Archive for March, 2014

Child Who Saw Mother Killed to Remain in Foster Care

In a case which underlined that the wishes and feelings of children will be heeded by the family courts, a seven-year-old girl (G) who witnessed her father savagely killing her mother will spend her childhood in foster care following a judge’s ruling. The deeply traumatised youngster will always have to live with the memory of seeing her father stab her mother more than 50 times. The tragedy was compounded by the fact that G witnessed the crime and suffered injuries inflicted by her father as she bravely sought to protect her mother. She was found by the emergency services, covered in blood, in the same room as her mother’s body. After her father was sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility, G had lived for a while with her maternal aunt, whose own grief reaction to her ... Read more

Ex-Window Cleaner Faces Stinging Tax Penalty

A former window cleaner discovered to his cost that honesty with the tax authorities is the best policy after giving up his round to devote himself to the more lucrative business of trading in collectible American comic books, videos and DVDs. The man was hit with a bill for more than £14,000 in back-tax and penalties after failing to keep adequate business records or to inform HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that his source of income had radically changed. He admitted that he had ‘fabricated his source of income’ – having continued to state on tax returns that he worked as a self-employed window cleaner – but nevertheless argued that much of his profit had been derived from selling off his childhood collection of comics and videos, which he valued at £38,000. However, following an in-depth inquiry into his affairs, HMRC pointed ... Read more

Accountants Cleared of Giving Negligent Tax Advice

A highly successful entrepreneur who incurred a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability in excess of £760,000 on the sale of shares in his company has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that an accountancy firm gave him negligent advice. The Iranian-born businessman had established a thriving clothing company after settling in Britain in the 1970s. He had eventually sold his shares in the company for more than £8.5 million, on which CGT of £763,658 was charged. He successfully argued before the High Court that he was potentially entitled to non-domiciled status and thus could have taken advantage of an avoidance scheme which would have extinguished his exposure to CGT. The accountancy firm was found to have been negligent in failing to advise him to seek specialist tax advice. In allowing the firm’s appeal against that decision, the Court found that it ... Read more

Should Tax Defaulters be Named and Shamed?

In a unique decision which balanced the public interest in naming and shaming tax defaulters against the privacy and reputational rights of the individual, a solicitor accused of under-declaring his liability to pay Stamp Duty on a property purchase has been granted at least temporary anonymity by a tax tribunal. The solicitor and his wife had jointly bought a property for more than £760,000 but had declared the purchase price to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as £100,000. Although more than £30,000 in Stamp Duty was due on the transaction, none was paid until HMRC launched an inquiry. Upon discovery of the default, the couple signed a settlement agreement with HMRC by which they paid the sum due, plus a penalty of more than £16,000. However, when the couple learnt that their names would appear on a list of deliberate defaulters, ... Read more
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