HMRC Enquiry Letters for Choice Premier / Berwick Associates/ Runnymede Services HMRC Enquiry Letters for Choice Premier / Berwick Associates/ Runnymede Services - Page 15
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  1. #141

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    Excellent idea. I'll have a look through my folders from the time. I didn't attend the two sessions you mention but I had lots of emails at the time assuring me of the compliance of the arrangement, counsel approved etc.

    There's also a mis-selling thread over on LCAG - I've not approached them yet but they're looking for this sort of information

  2. #142

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    Default 'Always defective' payroll facilities and miss-selling.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Axeman View Post
    Excellent idea. I'll have a look through my folders from the time. I didn't attend the two sessions you mention but I had lots of emails at the time assuring me of the compliance of the arrangement, counsel approved etc.

    There's also a mis-selling thread over on LCAG - I've not approached them yet but they're looking for this sort of information
    Mega. I've discovered Wes Streeting MP is a member of the Treasury Select Committee! Appointed by the House of Commons, the purpose of the TSC is "....to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of HM Treasury, HM Revenue & Customs....". Therefore, it can surely only be of help to past customers of facilities under investigation that Mr Streeting, in the position he holds, has been so outspoken on the designers and promoters. To quote what Mr Streeting said in the Commons Chamber on 8 January 2019: "There remain serious questions to be asked of the promoters of these schemes....and also of HMRC. If people were given tax advice and followed it, and if HMRC was aware of these schemes but did not take action in any previous tax year, how on earth could any reasonable person have concluded that they were doing anything wrong? Mel Stride has also said legislation exists to go after those who created anything unlawful all those years back, so perhaps that's what Mr Streeting and his colleagues will seek to leverage. All in all, even though I'm not one of his constituents, I'm deffo sending stuff in Mr Streeting's direction as well as Sir Edward Davey's and Tommy Sheppard's!

    As for the potential of miss-selling, great shout Axeman.
    Last edited by Centrick; Yesterday at 09:38.

  3. #143

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    I think I still have some of the emails from the arrangement I was using pre Berwick. I'll have a dig

  4. #144

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    Default Berwick Associates 2011 LLP - How can HMRC have allowed it to be 'struck off'??!

    Have just been messaged that back in January 2018 our friends at HMRC allowed Berwick to be 'struck' from the register at Companies House. Does anyone understand, and can explain here, how HMRC could possibly allow that to happen if their enquiry is still open and they are saying the transactions Berwick undertook were not legal and the payroll 'facility' never worked?

    There was at least one email from MJ Kerridge (mid 2014 I think?) where he said the loans received by Berwick customers were nothing to do with him, but as far as I'm concerned if you were a Berwick customer you had to receive foreign currency loans; it's just the way the facility functioned as per what it says in the promo stuff he gave out at his sales meeting.

    Why is HMRC not using the legislative powers Mel Stride says have been there for years to go after the creator and promoter rather than us? Maybe webberg can please give some clues on this.....
    Last edited by Centrick; Yesterday at 13:12.

  5. #145

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    I didn't find much in the way of mis-selling ammo last night but I did find and number of emails along the lines of "you will have seen the new legislation that is being introduced to counter the use of .... as a result we are winding down this arrangement."

    The clear conclusion being that the arrangements DID WORK - whatever Stride tries to claim - and were being picked off by tactical legislation year on year.

  6. #146

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    My name has been mentioned and I'll respond to the points that I can.

    Mis-selling. Of what? You had an opinion as to the tax effects of the arrangements. You had no guarantee that they would work as claimed.

    Even if you could show that you placed reliance upon the opinion of a (in this case) professional, were you that professional's client? I suggest not. I suggest that you were a person buying a product rather than a person buying a professional service in which that professional has to adhere to minimum standards and could be sued for giving negligent advice.

    Negligent advice can be given only to a client to whom a duty of care is owed. You were not. You were buying a product and the professional gave an opinion to whomever owned that product. That may have been a connected party (even him/herself) but the opinion belonged to the owner and you had no legal rights if you relied upon it.

    Whether you had moral or ethical rights is not a question I can answer.

    In terms of HMRC powers to go after the "creator/promoter", there are none.

    Rules around the penalties that can be visited upon promoters of schemes that fail were introduced only a few years ago. Even then the process is long. When does a scheme fail? Is it when HMRC raise an enquiry? Is it when you pay an APN? Is it when a Judge says so. The first point is a year from submitting a tax return, the second, perhaps 3 years, the third perhaps 10 years. What benefit do you get from such penalties? None.

    HMRC does have powers to move against employers. They have blatantly failed to do that in many cases (you cite Berwick being "allowed" to be struck off - I don't know why that was permitted).

    It is a harsh truth but you bought a product that depended upon a tax opinion which in turn you have no legal rights to sue over, should it be wrong.

    You bought an opinion. A Judge would say that a reasonable man would have executed a degree of due diligence and background checking when you were spending a year, 2 years, 3 years salary on an opinion. Perhaps seeking an independent view from a suitable professional. (If you did and were not warned about the risks, then you have a prima facie case against that second opinion).
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  7. #147

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centrick View Post
    Thanks for your comments webberg. Miss-selling was actually raised by Axeman, so feel sure he will find your words interesting. [my apologies]

    I've been messaged in recent days saying your feedback is generally driven by commercial considerations, [I've never denied that I have a business that has contractors as clients]

    but I prefer to be less cynical. I must say though you've managed to confuse me, because as recently as 11th January you said in this forum "You do have remedy via the various professions' regulating body. You may have remedy via the Courts where negligence is involved. (I'm not suggesting that is the case here as I'm not aware of all the details)". Not sure who you've since spoken with, but it now seems in a matter of just a few days you've radically changed your mind for some reason,[ I entirely disagree. The previous comments were in relation to a claim against a professional where that person has engaged a client and then given negligent advice. As is clear in the piece above, I distinguished Berwick by making the assumption that no users of that scheme were clients of a professional - rather they were customers buying a product. These are different scenarios - clearly explained in my posts- and I therefor reject your point]

    suggesting that for Berwick facility customers and those of its predecessors (as per the KCMJ list) there's nowhere to go and no recourse?! At the very least, I'd quite fancy an investigative trip to the CI, which from what's not been happening may well be necessary....

    You've said you met the "senior people" from KCMJ, although have acknowledged you are "not aware of all the details" (of Berwick). Suffice to say there's clearly a lot you don't know about that facility and its predecessors. [That's entirely possible]

    In recent months, many customers have been communicating with one another and building the background to what they were sold; we absolutely don't agree that in being a customer of Berwick we merely bought a 'product' - no way is it as simple as that because prior to 'signing up' and during the time of using it, the accountant advised as to the legality and compliance of the facility, then prepared and filed customer tax returns, made formal declarations to HMRC as to his status, continued to tell us the facility was sound even after HMRC raised its enquiry etc. We all feel we were sold a SERVICE that included a product. As the MPs have been remarking more loudly and regularly in recent times, how much 'due diligence' can a layperson perform when receiving service from a qualified, regulated professional? [I wish you luck making that distinction in Court. I suggest that if this view is correct, then you could do worse than go to the professional body responsible and ask them?]

    When you visit the dentist and see all the diplomas he has framed in his waiting area, do you contact each awarding body and validate his capability/legitimacy to practice before you allow him to inject you with Novacaine and rip out your aching molar??! Likely not.....Anyway, at the risk of playing ping-pong with you, let's leave that one there.

    I'll say something else though that, if the outcome of HMRC's attack is that I'm not able to fund my kids' university education (or I have to borrow a heap to stop them loading themselves up with debt) then, believe me, I'll get a BIG bundle of benefit if (perhaps via Karma) the designers and promoters of the payroll facilities I used in good faith also end up losing their wealth and assets. That' s a feeling shared strongly by many others who may have life-changing liabilities inflicted on them.

    It's been said a prominent MP is currently working towards lobbying for the 'retrospection' to be applied to designers and promoters if the Treasury and HMRC persists with applying retrospection to the customers "duped and conned" into being the fall guys/gals. Go man, go!!!

    Finally, it's a rather telling indictment on their respective levels of belief in the Berwick and predecessor facilities that, despite protests from many customers, neither the designer nor the promoter have shown the slightest willingness to fund the defence of HMRC's enquiries. Instead, it's been left to the customers to shell out £000s themselves......[Clearly I cannot comment on much of the above]
    see above
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  8. #148

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    Quote Originally Posted by webberg View Post
    I distinguished Berwick by making the assumption that no users of that scheme were clients of a professional - rather they were customers buying a product.
    So, who did the customers 'buy' the Berwick facility from then? The 'product' was created by a professional, it was then presented by the same professional at a sales event with 20+ potential customers there and I still have the handout stuff from that. What was being sold was a service of accounting, processing of expenses, tax returns etc. In fact, in one of the promo sheets it also says certain outputs "...will be produced quarterly for member review and copies will be made available as part of the service." After receiving all the advice and assurances from the professional about the facility being 'effective tax planning' and compliant and legal and supported by counsel's opinion, I joined. The only paperwork I signed for the facility was with Berwick and that's what the same professional sent to me. The professional then completed my yearly tax returns as my tax adviser (at least that's what it says on the SA100 forms) and in them he told HMRC my loans were not taxable. So in what way were people like me not "clients of a professional" and not receiving 'service' from the professional? I'm lost now.....

    Quote Originally Posted by webberg View Post
    I suggest that if this view is correct, then you could do worse than go to the professional body responsible and ask them?
    As you might have picked up from this forum, some have already made contact with regulators to seek clarity/action and others (including me) are intending to follow. I've no information about any outcome if there has been one, but perhaps someone will PM me on that.
    Last edited by Centrick; Yesterday at 09:45.

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