View Full Version : Independent Contractor Services (ICS) - Merchant Group - EBT Scheme and HMRCs enquiry

Red rocket
14th July 2014, 05:19
I contracted through ICS between 2007 and 2008, and have concerns with Merchant Group over the EBT payments arising from the recent actions of HMRC and letters around their EBT Scheme.

It is encouraging that ICS - Merchant Group - is taking action with HMRC however ICS's interests are not completely aligned with mine. ICS are deferring comments about their approach to any tax owing, tax penalties and ICS fees until the courts have reached a decision.

Probably the most significant hidden risk that myself, and possibly others, face in terms of any claim against ICS or any other party involved is that a claim must be started within the applicable statutory time limit. If the claim is not started within the applicable time limit then the right to pursue the claim is lost. Tax disputes such as this generally take quite a long time to resolve, often a number of years. It is entirely possible that if ICS continue to fight HMRC by the time that tax dispute is at an end if HMRC wins it will be too late to bring a claim against ICS or any other third party.

I'd be interested in hearing thoughts on others involved with ICS, Merchant Group or experience with the above situation.

14th July 2014, 07:44
With recent legislative changes you may hear from HRMC way before this gets to court https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/293934/TIIN_5133_7040_and_9029_accelerated_payments_of_ta x_DOTAS_GAAR.pdf

14th July 2014, 20:57
I don't see any benefit in raising any claims against any promoters. They would have safe guarded them first. Think about it - If HMRC knew they could get any money from promoters they would have started cases against promoters instead of starting cases against end clients.

It is better to get all support from promoter if they are around and get all documents in order. This thing is not going away until it reaches courts. HMRC is being headed by a lawyer and she is ensuring her fellow lawyers make a killing one way or another.

16th July 2014, 16:30
Time limits for bringing claims will depend upon to whom the claim is made.

A claim to a UK regulator (FoS/FSCS) has to be lodged with 3 years of first becoming aware that the advice was incorrect.

A claim for legal retribution can be brought within perhaps 6 years but will depend on circumstances.

HMRC usually have little claim against promoters who receive fees but are not responsible for individuals' tax and cannot take action there. They do now have the power to issue notices against promoters along with name and shame ability.