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What is an 'Existing Building'? - Tax Tribunal Clarifies the Law

A property owner who demolishes an existing dwelling house and replaces it with an entirely new one is entitled to reclaim VAT on the costs of construction – but what happens if part of the original building is retained? A tribunal considered that...

Private Investors - Beware of Wolves in Sheep's Clothing!

There have always been wolves in sheep's clothing ready to take unfair advantage of private investors and they can be difficult to spot without professional advice. In one case, a company that participated in the sale of coloured diamonds to the public at...

Small Pension Pots - Planning Possibilities

People aged over 55 who have only a small (less than £30,000) pension pot in a defined benefit (final salary) scheme or in some instances in a defined contribution scheme paying only a small pension – but not where the pension pot has been used...

HMRC's Tough Approach to Penalty Rejected by Tribunal

Just how tough HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) can be was illustrated by a recent case in which they imposed a penalty of £1,300 for the late filing of a tax return by a businesswoman who, as well as running her own business, was also caring for her...

HMRC Provide Calculator for New IHT Relief

Like many pieces of tax legislation, the 'additional threshold' (AT) for Inheritance Tax (IHT) – which, in simple terms, limits the potential IHT charge on high-value residential properties – is a lot more complicated than it looks at first...

Your Right to Claim Tax Relief on Losses Dies With You

You can claim tax relief if assets that you have acquired become worthless or loans that you have advanced prove to be irrecoverable. However, in a case that will be required reading for tax professionals, the Upper Tribunal (UT) has ruled that the right...

Have You Checked Your Investment Adviser's Credentials?

Investment advice is best obtained from authorised professionals and it is unwise to rely on friends' recommendations, no matter how trustworthy they may appear. In one case that proved the point, a currency trader who turned to fraud and lost £500,000...

Tax Law No Respecter of (Cultural) Tradition

An argument that assets which HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said belonged to a deceased man (and were thus subject to Inheritance Tax) were actually owned in whole or in part by his son was rejected by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) recently . After the son...

Financial Advice to Become More Common?

We have often written about the dangers of taking advice from unqualified and/or unregulated advisers. A recent change in the regulations surrounding financial advice will cause some concern for those with friends or relatives who may be influenced by...

Bank Mistake - HMRC Still Levy Penalty

When a taxpayer named Mr Coomber sent his cheque by post to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to settle his tax demand, he thought that would be the end of the matter. He paid the tax bill on 2 February 2016 and, as late as 1 March 2016, HMRC mistakenly told...
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