This time we feature a couple of closure notice cases that also manage to link to some of our recent updates on domicile, tax relief on interest and partnership tax, as well as some of the more complex anti-avoidance rules. 

During a protracted tax enquiry, a taxpayer can apply to the tribunal to direct that HMRC issue a closure notice. If the application is granted, HMRC must then stop and raise an assessment. This is not always in the taxpayer's interest as you may receive a higher assessment than you bargained for. You can always then appeal against the offending assessment. A closure notice can be a very useful tactic if an enquiry is stuck in deadlock or if HMRC appear to be trawling for information without any obvious plan of action. 

The rules on closure notices are amended in Finance (No 2) Bill 2016/17 allowing HMRC to issue 'partial closure notices' and so assess some tax earlier than otherwise. This may greatly assist both sides where there are disputes covering such complex issues, although it could, on the other hand, also create administrative nightmares.

A date for your diaries: 10th and 11th May, its the Accountex Show at Excel. Please do come and say hello. We are on Stand 562; come and demo our range of new Apps and features in digital tax.

Finally, congratulations to all the CIOT new associates and prize winners I met last night. 

If you have any tax queries please do try out our Virtual Tax Partner support portal at www.VtaxP.co.uk

Enjoy the guides and updates and the news is below. 

Back soon

Nichola Ross Martin CTA (Fellow) FCA
Tax Director


Your Virtual Tax Partner®: online PRACTICAL support for accountants & tax advisers BY accountants & tax advisers

Quick news (freeview)

Partnership taxation: consultation response
HMRC have published a response to their consultation ‘Partnership taxation: proposals to clarify tax treatment’. 

Scottish Tribunals: LBTT penalties
The First-Tier Tax Tribunal for Scotland has released its first two tax decisions, both concerning penalties for late filing of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) returns.

Call for evidence: employee expenses
HMRC have published ‘Taxation of employee expenses call for evidence’ on the use of income tax relief for employee business expenses, including those not reimbursed by employers. 

Case Update (freeview)

Closure notices cases

In Stuart Gulliver v HMRC [2017] TC05712 an application for closure notice in order to block a sch 36 information notice failed. The fact that HMRC had agreed a taxpayer's change of domicile in the past did not mean that they could not revisit the issue in a later year and ask more questions.

In BCM Cayman LP and various other Bluecrest entities v HMRC [2017] the taxpayers were only partially successful in forcing HMRC to issue closure notices into long running and complex tax enquiries concerning the tax arrangements of hedge funds. The FTT set out a summary of the conditions for HMRC to issue a closure notice in relation to an enquiry.

Editor's Choice (subscribers) 

Interest paid to directors and other individuals
UPDATE: 2017/18 examples added

Closure Notices
UPDATE: new rules in FB2016/17

Making Tax Digital: toolkit for accountants
UPDATE: latest news, sign up to try our Apps.

Practical Tax Guides and Updates (subscribers) 

Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes (POTAS)
UPDATED: New details added on the 2017 changes.

Employer's What's On April 2017
Includes new rules on assets made available without transfer and what is the tax treatment of employee insurance?

Company cars
UPDATED: 2017/18 rates and examples added.

CGT Private Residence Relief
UPDATED: Case of Desmond Higgins v HMRC added.  The First-tier Tribunal considered the period of ownership of an off plan apartment for the purposes of PRR.

Losses, trade losses and sideways relief
UPDATED: individuals and partnerships.

Losses: trading and other losses
UPDATE: new Company loss rules from April 2017


Technical tax vacancy
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Nichola's SME Tax w-update 31 March 2017


  • Pre-year end to do list
  • HMRC software errors
  • Cases on CIS, holdover relief and VAT for employment agencies.
  • Employer's update.
  • Updated guides on SSE, dividend tax, leaving the flat rate scheme and pensions unauthorised payments.

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