The government’s proposals to clamp down on tax avoidance by targeting advisers with sanctions if HMRC successfully challenges a scheme blur the line between evasion and avoidance, and “threaten the rule of law”, according to a prominent tax lawyer.
HM Revenue & Customs has given solicitors a week to pay the tax they owe on undeclared income or “face hefty penalties” of 100% on the unpaid tax and the risk of a criminal investigation.
A barrister from Essex has been given a five-year bankruptcy restrictions order for neglecting his business affairs. Such an order is made on application to the court if the Official Receiver considers that the conduct of a bankrupt has been blameworthy in some other way.
A third law firm has been fined by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for its involvement in a stamp duty avoidance scheme operated by Inventive Tax Strategies.
A tribunal judge has described as “beyond comprehension” the failure of a financially struggling law firm to make special arrangements with HMRC under the ‘time to pay’ scheme.
Leading Surrey firm Mundays has been rebuked and fined £2,000 by the Solicitors Regulation Authority for using stamp duty land tax avoidance schemes which saved clients over £2.5m.
A former solicitor who stole almost £1m through stamp duty fraud has been sentenced to ten years in jail. Shameer Sacranie, 40, from Leicester is believed to have fled the country and was sentenced in his absence last week.
Smaller law firms are struggling to retain their junior partners in advance of tough new capital requirements set out by HM Revenue & Customs in its crackdown on fixed-share partners avoiding PAYE tax, an executive search firm has claimed.
The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) has suggested that conveyancers, rather than clients, should answer to HMRC when stamp duty payments fail to arrive.
The Treasury has said last week’s House of Lords committee report calling for partnership tax changes to be delayed was already out-of-date, and confirmed they would come into force next month as planned.