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Not Losing Any Sleep
11th January 2015, 12:24
Looks like there is a proxcedural hearing coming up 3 Feb. More about the groundrules than anything of substance.

Taxman will not disclose cost of Rangers case | Herald Scotland (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/taxman-will-not-reveal-cost-of-rangers-case.26228807)

DonkeyRhubarb
11th January 2015, 12:44
I loved this bit.

"Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs has said it would cost too much to find out the costs"

They really are a shower of sh!te.

Not Losing Any Sleep
11th January 2015, 14:30
My guess is costs are £5m plus. When its not your money, very easy for a grumpy tax officer on £50k to keep instructing counsel. They should have accepted Murray Group's without prejudice offer and gone after a much easier case.

DonkeyRhubarb
11th January 2015, 17:32
My guess is costs are £5m plus. When its not your money, very easy for a grumpy tax officer on £50k to keep instructing counsel. They should have accepted Murray Group's without prejudice offer and gone after a much easier case.

They are sore losers.

And, by the way, they win over 80% of cases don't you know.

Bunch of tossers.

z4thras
11th January 2015, 20:45
They are sore losers.

And, by the way, they win over 80% of cases don't you know.

Bunch of tossers.

and here is the evidence.. 80% of cases are won by HMRC? | C3Insight (http://www.c3insight.co.uk/80-of-cases-are-won-by-hmrc/)
32 cases over 12 Months

InNZ
12th January 2015, 00:38
and here is the evidence.. 80% of cases are won by HMRC? | C3Insight (http://www.c3insight.co.uk/80-of-cases-are-won-by-hmrc/)
32 cases over 12 Months

We know that HRMC read this forum - if only one of them had the guts to respond to this article.

EBTContractor
12th January 2015, 01:47
is the study of the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and organization of data.

Then you massage the numbers until you have your answer.

99.99% of people know that.

Wibble1
12th January 2015, 08:50
They are sore losers.

And, by the way, they win over 80% of cases don't you know.

Bunch of tossers.


Not 1 contractor EBT loan scheme case has been won yet. Yes, HMRC win cases, but not 1 that is anywhere near close the the loan schemes being discussed on this forum, EBT loans. Speak with any tax expert or accountant or scheme provider and they will tell you the same.

PrtScn
12th January 2015, 11:41
When HMRC can just issue you an APN what does it matter?

No one wants to go to court. It's expensive. For you and HMRC.
They're hoping that once they've bankrupted you and taken your money you won't want the additional stress and expense of going to court to attempt to win your money back.

They won't be in any rush to go to court either. Even if you decide the fight is worth it, you go and you win they can appeal.
AND they don't have to pay you your money back as the case goes to a tribunal.

Guilty until proven innocent.

Wibble1
12th January 2015, 12:56
When HMRC can just issue you an APN what does it matter?

No one wants to go to court. It's expensive. For you and HMRC.
They're hoping that once they've bankrupted you and taken your money you won't want the additional stress and expense of going to court to attempt to win your money back.

They won't be in any rush to go to court either. Even if you decide the fight is worth it, you go and you win they can appeal.
AND they don't have to pay you your money back as the case goes to a tribunal.

Guilty until proven innocent.

No1 1 APN has been issued to Contractors being investigated for loans via EBT loan schemes and that's because HMRC 80% case win success rate does not include 1 case they have won against these schemes. Both these are fact. Ask any expert.

DonkeyRhubarb
12th January 2015, 13:28
When HMRC can just issue you an APN what does it matter?

No one wants to go to court. It's expensive. For you and HMRC.
They're hoping that once they've bankrupted you and taken your money you won't want the additional stress and expense of going to court to attempt to win your money back.

They won't be in any rush to go to court either. Even if you decide the fight is worth it, you go and you win they can appeal.
AND they don't have to pay you your money back as the case goes to a tribunal.

Guilty until proven innocent.

On the other hand, many taxpayers may feel they have nothing to lose going to the FTT (first-tier tribunal).

1) there are no court fees to pay
2) the FTT doesn't award costs, so there is no risk of having to pick up HMRC's legal bill
3) it only costs if you hire legal representation; in theory you could represent yourself and it would cost nothing other than your own time

I'm not advocating people represent themselves. If money is an issue then folks could club together to hire a decent lawyer. A few hundred people chipping in a few hundred quid each would go a long way.

That's what we (NTRT) are doing. It can be done if you put your minds to it.

Alternatively, you can just throw the towel in and let them beat you without even putting up a fight.

StrengthInNumbers
12th January 2015, 19:31
I think HMRC will issues APNs in bulk very soon. By targeting the weak cases they could easy satisfy lords by give 6 months data and then comes a tsunami is APNs. Courts are the only rescue

dangerouswhensober
13th January 2015, 15:13
I think HMRC will issues APNs in bulk very soon. By targeting the weak cases they could easy satisfy lords by give 6 months data and then comes a tsunami is APNs. Courts are the only rescue

I think (and I have no special inside knowledge of the workings of HMRC) that this is unlikely, for two reasons:

(1) HMRC stated in July 2014 that they would be issuing an average of 4,000 APNs per month, from August 2014 through to the end of 2015. This seems to be their capacity to handle the paperwork. Remember that APN paperwork has to be accurate (regarding figures, loan details, etc.), otherwise it can be challenged on the grounds of material error. All of that detail takes resources to produce and check, and

(2) The election timing means that any APNs issued now (in January and February) have the potential to cause 'bad' headlines 90 days later i.e. around April and May time - just when the election is due. It seems that the earlier APNs were issued in cases which were fairly easy to attack legally (from the HMRC viewpoint), and the recipients were fairly high net-worth individuals (who could afford to settle the APNs quickly). Roughly speaking, the APNs during this year will be on untested schemes (e.g. EBT schemes) and will be going to people who (by and large) can't settle quickly (if at all) - and that vastly increases the risk of bad headlines in public for both HMRC and the government. (BTW - this also partly explains the extension of the Settlement Offer - until the election is well out of the way and HMRC know which masters they have to satisfy in July).

I would guess that HMRC have 'graded' the schemes they are attacking, with the easiest targets getting the first APNs, and so on down the list. And, given that they haven't won an EBT case in court yet, then the EBT schemes should be fairly well down the list. (By which time, hopefully, the Judicial Review of FN/APN will have been completed and the Rangers case will have been finally lost to HMRC in the Supreme Court).

I've stopped worrying about getting a brown letter on the door-mat - the future course of this purge by the government and HMRC seems to me to be far too unclear ...

DonkeyRhubarb
13th January 2015, 15:43
(1) HMRC stated in July 2014 that they would be issuing an average of 4,000 APNs per month, from August 2014 through to the end of 2015.

Actually it was 2000/month and it would take 2 years to 2016 to issue all 43,000. Even this is an aggressive/optimistic target.

Apart from that, I pretty much agree with your analysis.

StrengthInNumbers
13th January 2015, 17:16
1) settlement opportunity was/is a data collection exercise. HMRC get a sample pool from each scheme to template/ model what should be figures based on p11d and pay slips. Even if p11d missing the can estimate based on sample pool. Burden reduced and issuing APNS become easy.
2) HMRC can also twist stats and good headlined. General joe on street has been told tax avoiders are evil. Money collected can also be used to get more election winning budget in mar.

I also have no insight into how HMRC works. My thinking above.

dangerouswhensober
15th January 2015, 13:13
Actually it was 2000/month and it would take 2 years to 2016 to issue all 43,000. Even this is an aggressive/optimistic target.

Apart from that, I pretty much agree with your analysis.

Yes - sorry for my figure of 4,000 APNs per month - you are much closer ...

Here is a quote from AccountingWeb published last October:

'HMRC expects to be issuing 2,500 notices per month by January 2015 and is “on track” to deliver notices to 43,000 scheme users, covering £7.1bn of disputed tax, by the end of March 2016.'

Accelerated payment notices reach £250m | AccountingWEB (http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/article/accelerated-payment-notices-reach-250m/567206?cx_tag=bhv1)

DonkeyRhubarb
15th January 2015, 13:57
I bet it will be pandemonium on CUK when tens of thousands of contractors start receiving APNs.

If I was a moderator I think I might take an extended holiday. :wink

dangerouswhensober
16th January 2015, 15:22
There was an article in AccountancyAge dated December 15th which stated how much HMRC had collected to date.

And the grand total number of all the scheme individual users who had paid up to December is ....... only slightly more than 30 !!!

The article is headlined "HMRC pockets £32m from tax avoidance scheme users"

Here are a couple of quotes from the article:

"Some 30 scheme users were told in August they had 90 days to pay a total of around £29m of disputed tax upfront under the new Accelerated Payments Regime. HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has secured almost all of the disputed tax due, reports sister publication Professional Adviser."

"HMRC said more than 99% of this money was paid within the deadline. Taking into account other payments, it has received £32m in disputed tax to date."

"Financial secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: 'The high success rate for the first set of accelerated payments notices shows avoidance scheme users are having to face up to the reality that they should pay their tax upfront, like the vast majority of taxpayers.'"

The whole article is here:

HMRC pockets £32m from tax avoidance scheme users - 15 Dec 2014 - Accountancy Age (http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/2386767/hmrc-pockets-gbp32m-from-tax-avoidance-scheme-users)

So basically HMRC is crowing that using APNs it recovered money relatively quickly from a small number of fairly well-heeled individuals (and these 30 must have been quite wealthy to be able to collectively pony-up £29m within 90 days).

It looks like the HMRC positive spin machine has ramped-up into over-drive ... I hope the House Of Lords isn't dumb enough to believe the majority of what HMRC is saying ...

comeonrangers
16th January 2015, 16:37
Have not posted before as I am not a contractor but rather an employer who used an EBT scheme in 2010.

However thought you would want to know we received a notification letter over the festive period saying we would be getting an APN in the next 2 - 4 weeks.

I had assumed due to Rangers case that EBT cases would be put to the bottom of the pile as there are far easier film schemes to tackle first. Looks like I was wrong and actually HMRC may be trying to get the money in from the EBT schemes before the Ranger case is concluded. Puts them in a much better position to argue holding the cash than not I guess.

Our scheme is almost identical to the rangers one apart from the fact that we put through about 0.1% of the money.

dangerouswhensober
17th January 2015, 10:08
Have not posted before as I am not a contractor but rather an employer who used an EBT scheme in 2010.

However thought you would want to know we received a notification letter over the festive period saying we would be getting an APN in the next 2 - 4 weeks.

I had assumed due to Rangers case that EBT cases would be put to the bottom of the pile as there are far easier film schemes to tackle first. Looks like I was wrong and actually HMRC may be trying to get the money in from the EBT schemes before the Ranger case is concluded. Puts them in a much better position to argue holding the cash than not I guess.

Our scheme is almost identical to the rangers one apart from the fact that we put through about 0.1% of the money.

Thank you posting this !

Has there been a First Tax Tribunal decision in the case of your scheme ?

(On 9th July 2014, during the committee stages of the Finance Act, Lin Homer said that they will at this stage only seek accelerated payment in cases where there has already been a FTT tribunal decision in their favor.)

StrengthInNumbers
17th January 2015, 11:16
I feared that's what HMRC will be doing. Collect from everyone under APNS and delay any case going to courts. By the time decision comes in years only return where scheme have won. Not many will be able come together and form groups and prove they had similar scheme to ones which won.
But boy if HMRC has calculated it wrong and most went to court, HMRC will have a big problem and current bosses will lose jobs.

centurian
17th January 2015, 11:41
But boy if HMRC has calculated it wrong and most went to court, HMRC will have a big problem and current bosses will lose jobs.

More likely they will blame it all on "persistent tax dodgers who are not playing 'fair' by clogging up the courts" and claim they need an even harder crackdown, more powers etc.

DonkeyRhubarb
17th January 2015, 12:47
I don't think HMRC will care.

APNs only change where the money sits while a dispute is ongoing. If HMRC lose in court, and have to return the money, then that's what Parliament intended.

Of course, their much vaunted 80% win rate might take a bit of a nose dive but that's a different story.

StrengthInNumbers
17th January 2015, 18:21
Even if HMRC cares it does not matter. Once courts decide it is out of HMRC.

Point is if enough groups will get together to challenge HMRC or not.

Not Losing Any Sleep
18th January 2015, 08:35
Have not posted before as I am not a contractor but rather an employer who used an EBT scheme in 2010.

However thought you would want to know we received a notification letter over the festive period saying we would be getting an APN in the next 2 - 4 weeks.

I had assumed due to Rangers case that EBT cases would be put to the bottom of the pile as there are far easier film schemes to tackle first. Looks like I was wrong and actually HMRC may be trying to get the money in from the EBT schemes before the Ranger case is concluded. Puts them in a much better position to argue holding the cash than not I guess.

Our scheme is almost identical to the rangers one apart from the fact that we put through about 0.1% of the money.



The Rangers/Murray Group case is against the company and not at this point the individual employees.

COMEEONRANGERS, I'm interested if this applies to your scheme which you say is very similar.

z4thras
18th January 2015, 11:43
The Rangers/Murray Group case is against the company and not at this point the individual employees.

COMEEONRANGERS, I'm interested if this applies to your scheme which you say is very similar.

it seems there have been a number of requests to find oput how much they have spent on this case, wonder when they will come clean.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/hmrc?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=rangers&request_date_after=&request_date_before=&commit=Search

StrengthInNumbers
18th January 2015, 19:20
I have added my request as well. We need to know this.

comeonrangers
19th January 2015, 08:59
The Rangers/Murray Group case is against the company and not at this point the individual employees.

COMEEONRANGERS, I'm interested if this applies to your scheme which you say is very similar.

It is against the company.

And to answer a previous question I don't believe the particular scheme we were involved in has gone to the FTT.

We took part in another scheme a year later, which didn't involve an EBT and HMRC have simply bundled them together - two separate letters but sent out on the same day.

From this it looks like they are being no more tactical in their sending of APN's than simply going through the list in alphabetical/DOTAS number or likes order and getting them out in line with their commitment to have all APN's out by the end of tax year 15/16. The two letters we got were identical apart from a few mailmerge bits.

I too listened to Lin Homer and took from her words that due to the Rangers case EBT schemes would be probably targeted later on. However this clearly isn't the case and I really don't think, apart from the first tranche of cases, which were hand picked for the media (i.e. dead certs not to be challenged), HMRC are looking that closely as to the type of scheme each case used. This blanket, mud at the wall approach is probably the most economical as HMRC don't need, under APN's, to prove whether they are right or wrong in holding on to the disputed money, so at this stage they really don't need to go into that much detail as to the scheme and whether they will win or not. It goes back to that old saying "possession is nine tenths of the law!"

DonkeyRhubarb
19th January 2015, 09:43
Someone else has just submitted this one.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/murray_group_holdings_and_others

dangerouswhensober
19th January 2015, 11:56
From this it looks like they are being no more tactical in their sending of APN's than simply going through the list in alphabetical/DOTAS number or likes order and getting them out in line with their commitment to have all APN's out by the end of tax year 15/16. The two letters we got were identical apart from a few mailmerge bits.

I too listened to Lin Homer and took from her words that due to the Rangers case EBT schemes would be probably targeted later on. However this clearly isn't the case and I really don't think, apart from the first tranche of cases, which were hand picked for the media (i.e. dead certs not to be challenged), HMRC are looking that closely as to the type of scheme each case used. This blanket, mud at the wall approach is probably the most economical as HMRC don't need, under APN's, to prove whether they are right or wrong in holding on to the disputed money, so at this stage they really don't need to go into that much detail as to the scheme and whether they will win or not. It goes back to that old saying "possession is nine tenths of the law!"

It's true that under APN regime HMRC don't need to prove (in advance) whether they are right or wrong in their view of taxability of a scheme, but I believe that, in deciding how to order the APN issuing, they would still have to have some regard for several factors, including:

(1) The requirement to satisfy the House of Lords 'proof of concept' within six months (i.e. before February this year).
(2) The public perception of how well (or badly) they are using their new powers (especially with the General Election due).
(3) Their ability to (legally) recover funds from scheme users unable to pay APNs.

I suspect that the trumpeted APN collection successes up to December last year (as discussed earlier in this thread) scored highly on all of the above factors:

(1) Money was recoverable quickly from a small group of companies and wealthy individuals, and
(2) No significant publicity was incurred, and
(3) There was (almost) no requirement to resort to strong-arm (i.e. legal) collection tactics.

I still believe that these 'favourable' conditions for HMRC will not persist as they work their way down the DOTAS list, so they will need to be careful on the timing of APN issue. (For example, they will not want to be issuing 2,500 APNs in January, February, and March, then finding that they have to initiate legal proceedings against 7,500 individual non-payers in Summer time. They will also not want 7,500 individual taxpayers screaming at their MPs about their lives being wrecked).

I think it's significant that the APN you are expecting to receive is against a company - not an individual. There could be an agenda to target companies first, in the assumption that companies can better afford to pay up quickly.

Please could any individual reading these boards who has received and APN (or a notice of impending issue) let us know - anonymously, of course ...

(BTW - Have you thought of writing to Lin Homer, reminding her of her testimony, and copying your MP & Gauke ?)

comeonrangers
21st January 2015, 10:31
It's true that under APN regime HMRC don't need to prove (in advance) whether they are right or wrong in their view of taxability of a scheme, but I believe that, in deciding how to order the APN issuing, they would still have to have some regard for several factors, including:

(1) The requirement to satisfy the House of Lords 'proof of concept' within six months (i.e. before February this year).
(2) The public perception of how well (or badly) they are using their new powers (especially with the General Election due).
(3) Their ability to (legally) recover funds from scheme users unable to pay APNs.

I suspect that the trumpeted APN collection successes up to December last year (as discussed earlier in this thread) scored highly on all of the above factors:

(1) Money was recoverable quickly from a small group of companies and wealthy individuals, and
(2) No significant publicity was incurred, and
(3) There was (almost) no requirement to resort to strong-arm (i.e. legal) collection tactics.

I still believe that these 'favourable' conditions for HMRC will not persist as they work their way down the DOTAS list, so they will need to be careful on the timing of APN issue. (For example, they will not want to be issuing 2,500 APNs in January, February, and March, then finding that they have to initiate legal proceedings against 7,500 individual non-payers in Summer time. They will also not want 7,500 individual taxpayers screaming at their MPs about their lives being wrecked).

I think it's significant that the APN you are expecting to receive is against a company - not an individual. There could be an agenda to target companies first, in the assumption that companies can better afford to pay up quickly.

Please could any individual reading these boards who has received and APN (or a notice of impending issue) let us know - anonymously, of course ...

(BTW - Have you thought of writing to Lin Homer, reminding her of her testimony, and copying your MP & Gauke ?)

Maybe, however there were some basic mistakes in the notices which we have received which would suggest they are chucking mud at the wall rather than sending out APN's on a considered case by case basis. We will see and i will be interested to see if we actually receive the APN within the suggested timeframe which is quickly coming to an end.

pimpernell
27th January 2015, 23:43
I'm a Hibs supporter, and so anything Rangers related is normally anathema to me. I've never wanted Rangers to win anything before.

famousfive
28th January 2015, 18:43
I'm a Hibs supporter, and so anything Rangers related is normally anathema to me. I've never wanted Rangers to win anything before.
Even in these dark days its nice to see a bit of humour on a thread :laugh

EBTContractor
26th February 2015, 06:43
Anyone heard if there is any progress on HMRC's appeal?

lilikins1
26th February 2015, 12:45
Anyone heard if there is any progress on HMRC's appeal?

Check this out LOL

Taxman will not disclose cost of Rangers case | Herald Scotland (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/taxman-will-not-reveal-cost-of-rangers-case.26228807)

We should join forces with the Rangers followers and put pressure into making HMRC explain what the hell they think they re doing

webberg
26th February 2015, 12:51
Check this out LOL

Taxman will not disclose cost of Rangers case | Herald Scotland (http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/taxman-will-not-reveal-cost-of-rangers-case.26228807)

We should join forces with the Rangers followers and put pressure into making HMRC explain what the hell they think they re doing

Very difficult to see what is going on. I think the Court of Sessions is still looking for a date/judge, having accepted the appeal. Daily listings of cases come out at very short intervals and HMRC website is not much better.

It is not usual for costs to be declared before a final decision. Once there is one, then perhaps a FoI request would work? Whilst sub judice however knowing how much has been spent might give the other side an advantage, i.e. are they running out of money and if I can extend the process, will they be forced to settle?

Hard to see in this case as HMRC have a bottomless pit of your money and the counterparty is already broke.

centurian
26th February 2015, 18:25
It is not usual for costs to be declared before a final decision. Once there is one, then perhaps a FoI request would work? Whilst sub judice however knowing how much has been spent might give the other side an advantage, i.e. are they running out of money and if I can extend the process, will they be forced to settle?

Which is probably a reasonable argument for rejecting an FOI - at this stage.

But they didn't take the easy option - oh, no - they claimed it would take too long to work out, which, if true, means they truly don't have a clue to the costs.

Which means someone should be fired for not having the slightest idea of costs (no-one will be).

Just typical that when they have a relatively easy get-out - they would rather take the option that makes them appear as incompetent.

Perhaps they feel they will lose, so want to keep the total costs permanently buried. Saying it costs too much to collate is an argument they can still lose after the final judgement.

Boobetty
26th February 2015, 21:07
FOI limit is £600 and charged at £25 an hour. HMRC said the request would take 3.5 days so refused the request on this basis.

What is laughable is (if you work in public service close your eyes now) that it would take a day at most for an averagely competent private sector worker to compile this data. Factor in the flexi time, tea-breaks, 10-4 day and final salary pension scheme of your average civil servant and no doubt you can massage this to 3.5 days.

In any case they should have this information to hand anyway as part of management information, key performance indicators and the like. These have been part of our working lives for years, justifying our time, using cost centres, etc. etc. If these are also absent then, sorry HMRC, it is game over.

lilikins1
26th February 2015, 22:23
They re probably embarrassed about how much it s costing and L for loser keeps coming up for them

EBTContractor
26th February 2015, 23:10
Obviously they are hoping that an eventual win means they can bully all EBT users into coughing up.

Anyone know what HMRC's EBT revenue estimation is?

Rab
27th February 2015, 00:43
Obviously they are hoping that an eventual win means they can bully all EBT users into coughing up.

Anyone know what HMRC's EBT revenue estimation is?

Why bother? Now they have APN's they don't have to prove anything. If they lose again and finally in this case, it's not like they're going to issue follower notices and give us all a refund.

webberg
27th February 2015, 12:35
Why bother? Now they have APN's they don't have to prove anything. If they lose again and finally in this case, it's not like they're going to issue follower notices and give us all a refund.

The APN is a payment of tax in ADVANCE of agreement. The tax still has to be agreed at some point. It can't be left in limbo for ever.

Don't get confused over Follower Notices. A FN can be issued where your claim for tax relief is based on principles found to be ineffective in a finally decided case. There might be some argument about the principles (HMRC's subjective view), but the key is a "finally decided case".

On EBT/RT/loan/ToAA there is no such case so far and therefore no chance of a FN.
If HMRC do collect under and APN and subsequently the amount is deemed to be excessive, then HMRC is OBLIGED to repay. In my experience HMRC are diligent in this process and do go to some trouble to find people and refund cash. I'm saying that they return all the money (perhaps they never collect all the money) but they try.

I appreciate that those under the cosh assign base motives to their persecutors but to make progress here, you have to rise above that and deal with the agency on professional basis. It will always pay dividends to keep matters objective. Save the emotional stories for the press and social media. This is not meant to be patronizing and I have huge sympathy for all here, but by keeping matters in proportion and objective a better result on many levels will be achieved.

Boobetty
27th February 2015, 19:48
I think Rab's point here is that follower notices work only where a case rules in favour of HMRC and do not work in reverse where a case goes against HMRC. I may be wrong though.

Iliketax
27th February 2015, 20:54
Anyone know what HMRC's EBT revenue estimation is?

Not sure, but by August 2014 they say that they have raised £800m from 700 employers under the EBT settlement opportunity.

Not Losing Any Sleep
27th February 2015, 21:56
Not sure, but by August 2014 they say that they have raised £800m from 700 employers under the EBT settlement opportunity.

99 % or this was from JP Morgan employees who were under a 3 line whip.

EBTContractor
28th February 2015, 00:09
99 % or this was from JP Morgan employees who were under a 3 line whip.

And also Henderson employees, a friend of a friend was stung for £40k on 10 year old bonuses.