Welcome to the start of another tax year. 

There are a lot of changes to take in. I can see that implementing Making Tax Digital for VAT and dealing with any outstanding contractor loans will take up a lot of many peoples' time.

It can be difficult to keep up with complex tax legislation and this week we take a closer look at the issue of what it means to be careless about your taxes.

There is a difference between being careless because you are naive, ill-informed or muddled, and making a deliberate decision to not to care. Making a deliberate decision to do or not to do something is treated as committing fraud by HMRC, others may disagree. How then does a rational person act when faced with tax legislation that stands nearly three feet high? That depends on a multitude of factors. 

This time we look at four different cases where it was essential to determine whether the taxpayer or their agent was careless in order to apply the correct tax rules. They all illustrate different examples of what HMRC considers is careless behaviour and in all cases the tribunals took a different view to HMRC. Do read the Richie summary, and I recommend our guide to Discovery Assessments too.

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 FCA CTA (Fellow) Tax Director


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

Quick news (freeview)

Registering non-resident landlord companies for corporation tax
From 1 April 2019 non-resident companies start making the change from self assessment to corporation tax. A new registration is required with HMRC.

Disguised remuneration: paying the loan charge?
Start here to work through the options

Making Tax Digital

Making VAT Digital: tool (freeview)
When do you need to join?

Making VAT Digital: who is excluded? Subscriber guide
Who can claim exemption from Making Tax Digital for VAT?  What are the issues? A note for paid subscribers explaining what HMRC fails to.

Making VAT Digital: subscriber guide
ESSENTIAL READING & UPDATE: we cover the key issues, what are the requirements. What is the difference between digital links and bridging software? What adjustments are digital? What records should be digital? Much more. Read on

Editor's Choice (subscribers)

Finance Acts and rolling tax planner 2019-20
UPDATE: instant CPD, an at a glance guide to keep you up to date in SME tax.

Tax Guides and Updates (subscribers) 

Directors' Tax Planning Toolkit 2019-20
UNMISSABLE: The latest version of one of our most popular guides.

Dividend tax (subscriber guide)
UPDATE: This guide now has examples for the new 2019/20 tax year.

Buy-to-let ownership: personal v. company?
UPDATE: what is the optimum form of ownership since the restriction in interest deduction?

Discovery Assessments
UPDATE: when and how can HMRC open up an enquiry into a closed year. How far back can they assess?

Case Update (freeview)

No Discovery: Carelessness not properly considered
In William Richie & Hazel Richie v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0071 UKUT 0071 the Upper Tribunal decided that the conditions for a discovery outside of normal time limits had not been met: the carelessness of a specialist adviser was untested.

Employee not careless in SA pension claim
In Adrian Omar v HMRC [2018] TC6962, the first tier tribunal (FTT) held that a taxpayer had not been careless in claiming excessive tax relief for pension contributions.

Taxpayer acted reasonably when agent failed
In Ian Coll v HMRC [2019] TC 6971 the first tier tribunal (FTT) held that a taxpayer had a reasonable excuse for late filing because of failures by previously reliable accountants.

VAT (subscribers)

VAT Flat Rate Scheme
How it works, is it worth it?

Leaving the Flat Rate Scheme
What to do and what adjustments to make when you leave the FRS

VAT: Land & Property
UPDATE: at a glance guide to assist you to correctly tax transactions involving property.

VAT Cases

Zero rating: alteration or repairs?
In Cube Construction (Southern) Ltd v HMRC [2019] TC07030, the FTT considered whether certain works to the roof, re-wiring, and doors of a listed building damaged by fire and rebuilt were alterations or repairs or incidental to repairs.

Missed last time's Web-update?

Nichola's SME tax W-update to 29 March 2019


  • Disguised remuneration loan charge
  • Family companies
  • Setting up share schemes
  • Share loss relief
  • and much more...

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