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Upper Tribunal decision on surcharges on pension withdrawals

09 June 2020 / Constantine Christofi , Harry Winter
Issue: 4747 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
La bella figura

Key points

  • A registered pension scheme made a loan to a connected separate company.
  • The loan was an unauthorised employer payment and a scheme chargeable payment.
  • The nature of the payment gave rise to three separate tax charges under FA 2004.
  • Did TMA 1970 s 29 allow HMRC to make discovery assessments?
  • A six-year window was available if the company had been careless.
  • The charges could be set aside if the ‘just and reasonable’ condition was satisfied.

The decision of the Upper Tribunal in Bella Figura [2020] UKUT 0120 (TCC) concerned some relatively niche pension provisions but it casts important light on issues that apply much more widely across the tax code. Let us start with a look at the case itself.


The facts

Bella Figura Limited (BFL) was both the ‘sponsoring employer’ and ‘scheme administrator’ of the Bella Figura Pension Scheme which was a registered pension scheme....

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