Good news for contractors as 2,000 APNs are withdrawn
2015 saw plenty of debate and discussion about the way HM Revenue and Customs handles those who fail to pay their taxes, and one of the most controversial subjects was that of Accelerated Payment Notices. With groups of taxpayers going so far as to air their objections in front of a court, there were plenty of people who thought that the way APNs were issued left a lot to be desired.
For those who thought that the taxman’s methods were needlessly heavy-handed, this week brings something of a victory as HMRC have had to withdraw around 2,000 APNs that were issued in April last year. The notices in question were sent to those who had participated in the Montpelier IR35 Manx Partnership arrangements. The APNs were issued in error as the scheme was notified to HMRC in spite of the fact that there was no requirement to under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes. This meant that the requirements for an APN to be issued were not met as they can only be put in place if a person has used a scheme which is disclosable under DOTAS.
APNs should only be used in cases where an ongoing appeal is underway or if a tax enquiry is in progress as they allow the department to demand upfront payment of the tax owed within 90 days of the notice being issued.
HMRC have issued an apology for the fact that they issued so many APNs incorrectly, but as yet there has been no offer of compensation to those who have been affected to make up for the distress that the improperly issued notices would doubtless have caused. Indeed, many of those affected have had to sell assets or personal possessions in order to pay what they were told they owed. HMRC have issued a statement saying that the withdrawal of the APNs doesn’t mean that there is no tax owed and that the disputed APNs represent a small proportion of the total number issued.
Contractors who want to learn more about their liabilities can learn a lot from our information on contractor tax not to mention our guide to the advantages and disadvantages of going limited. We also have a FREE 60 page guide to contracting which contains plenty of hints and tips about the best way to manage your finances.
If you want to ensure that you never have to worry about your taxes and give yourself a chance to focus on your work instead of admin, then our accountants are always on hand to help. To learn more, call today on 01442 275789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.