In Colin Rodgers v HMRC  TC06617, the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) dismissed the tax advisors appeal against a Conduct Notice issued for assisting a client create false purchase invoices.
During an enquiry into one of the appellants clients, Mr Rodgers admitted that he had tried to help his client by creating false purchase invoices that he could use to support business claims.
The agent admitted it was his idea as his client would not have known what to do.
The total tax saved by the dummy invoices, totalled £22,000, £12,000 in VAT and £10,000 in Income Tax.
HMRC issued the agent with a Conduct Notice which, if appeal fails, carries a £5,000 - £50,000 penalty, allows HMRC to publish details of the agent, and allows them to disclose the misconduct to the professional body of which the agent is a member.
The agent appealed against the Conduct Notice:
- He had been informed in his meeting with HMRC that no further actions or prosecutions would be pursued.
- He did assist his client, but his actions were not deliberate or dishonest.
- He complained about the arrogance, rudeness and threats received from HMRC Officers at a later visit.
The FTT did not accept the agent had been given assurances he would not be subject to further prosecution. There was no evidence of this and HMRC said no such assurances had been made to the agent.
The FTT also did not accept the agent’s account of HMRC’s behaviour at the later meeting.
The FTT found, on the balance of probabilities, that he had acted dishonestly as a tax agent with a view to bringing about a loss of tax for his client.
The appeal was dismissed.
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