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Readers' forum : Is ignorance bliss?

06 December 2016
Issue: 4579 / Categories: Forum & Feedback

Is lack of knowledge a defence to a tax avoidance scheme?

Our client who worked for a company in 2007-08 straight from school and was put into a tax avoidance scheme about which she knew absolutely nothing. The arranegement was apparently called the IR35 Manx Partnership Scheme. The people who operated or included her in it can no longer be contacted.

In May 2015 our client received out of the blue an accelerated payment notice asking for £15 000. This has subsequently been withdrawn but she has now had a letter stating that HMRC will issue another accelerated payment notice and soon afterwards a follower notice. The latest letter does not actually ask for any funds but states that when the revised accelerated payment notice is received she will have 90 days in which to settle the tax liability or penalties will be charged.

In the letter HMRC also refers to the First-tier Tribunal decision in Robert Huitson v...

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