There's a very good article in Tax Adviser this month. It discusses the Rowe case and argues that whilst the Judge (Simler) was correct to say "anyone who enters into a tax avoidance scheme takes the risk that the scheme will fail" that reasoning falls apart where the "scheme" in question is government approved. The author uses an example of BPRA, but a similar argument could be used for post 2011 arrangements particularly.

For pre 2011 schemes a similar argument that "yes, they were disclosed but only because nobody wanted to risk a penalty" and to date no tax avoidance has been proven, is going to distinguish new JR's from Rowe.

That said, I remain a non believer in the JR process. The odds are just too long.

We are starting to see responses to representations made. Some of those say that we'll get an answer in 3/4/5/6 months.

There are a few that have come back with "APN withdrawn". We're obviously hoping that a few will become many.

Frustratingly the letters withdrawing the APN say something along the lines of

"having considered the representations made, we will withdraw the notice".

Would be good to know which of the several grounds we include was the reason. We have asked but I'm not holding my breath.

We've also had success in making late representations in certain cases, often months after the 90 day period has expired.

Discussions with DMB over collection have been more difficult. Often unless we can get an MP involved, DMB are just stubborn and belligerent. It's particularly irritating that DMB won't discuss instalments for an APN under an unresolved representation until the rep has been dealt with. In effect, given HMRC postal delays this amounts to an automatic penalty.

On a gloomier note, the Autumn Statement on 25th of this month may see an extension to APN to include non DOTAS schemes that HMRC "believes" should have been disclosed. This is from a source I would describe as speculative and hopefully is unfounded.