Patrick Cannon: Why I started Cannon Chambers
2020 will be seen by historians as a year of disruption and seismic change but also a year of new beginnings. Nationally we were...
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Patrick Cannon is advising clients who were sold aggressive tax avoidance schemes such as Disguised Remuneration schemes by their advisers without being given a proper risk warning that such schemes might be attacked by HMRC in the years to come and receive judicial and press scrutiny.
Patrick is helping clients to settle their tax schemes with HMRC and acting for them on claims for damages for negligent tax advice or worse against the advisers and introducers involved.
It is said by many such advisers that compensation is not available because the client would otherwise have paid the tax and has therefore suffered no loss. But this is not true and there were often legitimate ways of reducing or eliminating the client’s tax bill in the years in question without resorting to schemes.
Clients were not advised to take these legitimate tax saving routes because the introducers wanted to earn commission from putting their clients into artificial schemes that certainly since late 2010 were contrary to the intention of Parliament and were never likely to succeed.
In some cases, victims of schemes such as Eclipse are facing huge tax bills as a result of the failed tax relief which for many investors may mean losses up to several times that of their original investment. Taxpayers face the loss of their business and/or their homes. Many are desperate and are on medication.
Patrick is authorised by the Bar Standards Board to offer Public Access Work and litigation which means that he can work directly with clients and deal directly with HMRC on their behalf. Patrick works on the basis of fixed fees agreed up-front via his Clerk and he does not use open ended hourly rates.
Do you think that you may have been mis-sold an aggressive tax avoidance scheme? If so, please contact Patrick Cannon here for an initial discussion about the options open to you.
You may have a claim for the professional fees and costs incurred in setting up and running the failed scheme.
You may also be able to claim for the tax and additional costs you now have to pay.
The rules governing recovery are very complicated and a thorough review of the facts of your case will be needed in order to give a clear answer.
It is always worth checking first that the tax demand, whether it be in the form of an Accelerated Payment Notice, Discovery Assessment or Closure Notice, complies with the necessary time limits and other procedures in order to be valid.
But assuming that it does and it relates to a tax scheme that HMRC have defeated, whether in the tax tribunal or by legislation, then you are going to have to settle it.
It is at this point that you may also consider a claim against the adviser who sold you the scheme.
In the case of most mis-sold tax avoidance schemes the actual scheme suppliers have long since been closed down or their assets depleted to zero.
Chasing them is likely to prove a fruitless exercise. However, many such schemes were sold through networks of accountants and tax advisers who pushed the schemes onto their long-standing and trusting clients in return for undisclosed commission payments from the scheme suppliers.
Most of these advisers are still practising and insured. As a result of recent case law, many of these firms were almost certainly negligent and may be worth claiming against.