Accountant wins latest battle in HMRC war

The taxman’s extraordinary attack on a firm of accountants took a new twist this week.  According to an email sent to their clients today Christopher Lunn and Company (CLAC) won its application for a Judicial Review in The High Court.
Last summer the taxman raided the offices of CLAC.  Since then HMRC has, disturbingly, written to all of CLAC’s clients saying that they will not recognise CLAC as an adviser.  Further, HMRC’s Specialist Investigations unit has given an unprecedented ultimatum to all of CLAC’s clients: demanding a “full disclosure” of any tax irregularities by the end of this month – in return for immunity from prosecution.
Apparently the High Court held that HMRC had acted unlawfully in its dealings with CLAC: who have been awarded costs against the taxman.  Importantly for CLAC’s ongoing business and their clients, the judgment also overturns HMRC’s refusal to deal with CLAC as an agent or representative for any taxpayers.  HMRC have told CLAC that they do not intend to appeal the decision.

CLAC is continuing its separate application for a Judicial Review of HMRC’s refusal to disclose the information that it put in front of the judge who granted the search warrants in June 2010.  CLAC also emphasise that they will continue to defend themselves robustly from any charges made.

What does this mean for me?

If you are a client of CLAC and have received the generic (“make a disclosure or else”) letter from HMRC, then you may need specialist help right now – IF you think your Tax Returns were materially incorrect.   If you believe your Tax returns are correct then you should not worry unduly, and CLAC should now be able to carry on as your agents. Only a very few people who have fiddled their tax get prosecuted in the UK each year.  HMRC prefer to obtain money settlements.  It is usually only those very few people who fail to properly handle a tax enquiry who end up with a criminal investigation.

Lynam Tax partners have a vast amount of practical experience in managing tax investigations and tax enquiries.    We can advise you on the best course of action and if appropriate, help you manage any necessary disclosures, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.

For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call Paul or Gemma Lynam today on 0845 643 9997