Leading our team of professionals here at Edge Tax is Anton Lane – a Chartered Tax Adviser, author and a CEDR accredited mediator, qualified to deal with complex dispute resolution. He has formerly worked in the Tax Risk Management team at Ernst and Young, as well as managing group interactions between a large telecoms company and HRMC. He established Edge Tax to manage complex investigations and provide bespoke tax consultancy for entrepreneurs, wealthy families and large corporations.
It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Edge Tax, those that have the misfortune to be investigated by HMRC generally have very complicated affairs. They may have participated in schematic planning which attempts to take advantages of loopholes, implemented bespoke planning structures, or have put in place commercial operations without regard to the tax implications. Some are simpler – for example, false invoices or accounting – but most are complicated. In relation to tax, a good specialist has to keep abreast of developments in the most complicated areas of legislation and case law. They also need to be able to think around the law in order to best represent their clients, anticipating the challenges if the case were to proceed through the courts.
The tax issues we deal with here at Edge vary considerably. However, most cases have transactions that could arguably be taxed in different ways, some of which have a much higher liability. Obviously, a client would prefer the lowest liability but it is necessary to consider the facts in each circumstance to establish what representations can be made to agree a reasonable position with HMRC. Clients often find it very confusing that a transaction could be taxed in different ways. They appreciate the time and effort to establish what is best for them in light of the facts.
We work through the process with our clients step by step, methodically and effectively. The main stages are as follows:
Disputes arise in many areas including what tax or law applies, the quantum, technical interpretation and whether the individual did something knowingly. The key to our work is preempting the officer’s views and making sure we’re prepared for dealing with that view.
Individuals and corporations need to consider assistance from a professional in relation to tax investigations – the appropriate specialist will manage the process with little disturbance to the client, meaning they can get on with their life or business. They will consider how representations can be made in light of facts to get the best possible tax outcome. The potential exposure to penalties will be mitigated and the risk of prosecution taken away.
For an adviser, the challenges are maintaining a good level of knowledge. For a client with affairs split across multiple jurisdictions, the main difficulties are ensuring the entity remains taxable in one jurisdiction!
HMRC has evolved and are showing little mercy for those they pursue who don’t cooperate. It is better to manage your position with them than let them conclude how to treat you. Wait and see is not a good option. That is where we come in, at Edge Tax, we’re here to help.
In our last employment-status article we discussed the indicators of employment vs self-employment and the tax and NIC implications thereon. Given the recent ruling in the Uber case it seems that courts are leaning further towards an employee/employer relationship rather than that of an independent contractor.