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This week... a new(s) column

Apr 20, 2015, 06:52 AM
Authors : Andrew Hubbard
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Post date : Apr 20, 2015, 06:56 AM

Our editor-in-chief on political proposals and penalties for carelessness

I have spent much of the week looking at the various parties’ tax proposals and the way that these have been discussed in the mainstream media: I have to say that the coverage has generated more heat than light.

Perhaps that is inevitable in the cut and thrust of political point scoring, but I hope that once the election is over there can be proper analysis and review of the policy of whatever government emerges.

I don’t want a repeat of the one day debate on this year’s Finance Bill. One thing that is clear is that, whichever party or parties are in power, the scope for tax planning will be diminished.

Artificial avoidance has largely been squeezed out of the system, but it seems clear that what many of us would traditionally have regarded as ordinary tax planning is going to be the next target. Advising clients on where the boundaries are will be even more difficult.

If you only do one thing…

So many things come across our desks every day that it is hard to know what is important. So each week, in this column, I will suggest one item that you really ought to look at. It might be an article in the magazine, a press release, a consultative document or, as this week, a tax case.

Included in our reports this week is the First-tier Tribunal’s decision in J Day and A Dalgety (TC4343). It is worth reading paragraphs 12 to 32 and 156 to 166 to show how a tribunal approaches the test of reasonable care – particularly the obligations of a taxpayer to read the return and the guidance notes.

Of course, all our clients diligently review every entry on their returns and cross reference it to the guidance, so perhaps we have nothing to worry about.

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