Recent News & Events

Free Seminar – Current and New Issues with the Taxation of UK Real Estate – NOTES AVAILABLE

Old Square Tax Chambers are hosting an afternoon seminar on 7 March 2019 where Patrick Cannon, Etienne Wong and Sarah Squires will be speaking on Current and New Issues with the Taxation of UK Real Estate.

The seminar was held from 16:15 on Thursday 7th March 2019.

The notes are now available to download from here.

The seminar is to be held from 3.45 pm to 6.15 pm in The Old Hall, Lincoln’s Inn and the timetable will be as follows:

3:45 – 4.15        Tea & Coffee

4.15 – 4.50       Patrick Cannon will speak on Current SDLT points of dispute with HMRC

4.50 – 5.25       Sarah Squires will speak on Taxing non-UK real estate investors: Recent developments       

5.25 – 6.00       Etienne Wong  will speak on Some Recent VAT Developments of Note 

6.00 – 6.15       Question to the speakers followed by drinks

Drinks will be hosted immediately after the seminar at which you will have an opportunity to meet members of Old Square Tax Chambers.

The seminar is free of charge.

Please let us know if you wish to attend by emailing and do feel free to inform any colleagues who might be interested in joining us

Free Seminar: Current and New Issues with the Taxation of UK Real Estate

Old Square Tax Chambers hosted an afternoon seminar where Rory Mullan, Ross Birkbeck and Philip Simpson QC.

Seminar Timetable

15:45 – 16:15 Tea & Coffee

16:15 – 16:50 Rory Mullan – Challenging assessments

Applicable time limits for assessments, enquiries and closure notices – extended time limits and the burden of proof – limits on discovery assessments.

16:50 – 17:25 Ross Birkbeck – Issues with closure notices

When are they available and when can they be appealed — Questions of formality — Uncertainties in the partial closure regime

17:25 – 18:00 Philip Simpson QC – Time limits for claims

General issues with making claims – dealing with missed time limits – claims after assessments / amendments – HMRC’s care and management discretion

Copies of the speakers’ notes are now available to download here.

Taxman accused of bullying overseas earners with letters ~ a recent article in The Times by Carol Lewis stated

Patrick Cannon, a leading tax barrister, said: “These bullying letters are exactly the sort of thing the Lords criticised.” He said that they were designed to “put the wind up people”, had no official legal status and that response was voluntary. “I absolutely wouldn’t sign this,” he said. “It is a real imposition and very unprofessional of HMRC. The article may be found here:

Old Square Tax Chambers is delighted to announce that Rebecca Sheldon has joined Chambers as a full tenant

Rebecca holds two first class law degrees from the universities of Durham and Cambridge and was graded “outstanding” on the BPTC. Prior to coming to the bar, she worked as a VAT research assistant for Professor Rita De La Feria. Rebecca has also published articles in the British Tax Review.

Further information on Rebecca can be found on her individual profile page.

Please contact Cliff Holland or Franco Lombardi should you have any enquiries regarding Rebecca.

James Kessler QC and Mary Ashley provide an in-depth analysis of the residence nil rate band and its operation

Nil Rate Band Analysis: FA 2019 update

Macleod and Mitchell Contractors Limited v. HMRC [2019] UKUT 46 (TCC)

Philip Simpson, Q.C., has successfully acted for the taxpayers in the case of Macleod and Mitchell Contractors Limited v. HMRC [2019] UKUT 46 (TCC). The case concerned keyman insurance policies that were to be taken out for the benefit of the taxpayer company on the life of its director. By mistake, the policies were taken out naming the director as the beneficiary. The company paid regular premiums for a number of years, without anyone realising the mistake. During an enquiry, HMRC spotted the error, and claimed income tax and national insurance contributions on the basis that the premiums had been due by the director, and the fact that the company had paid the premiums counted as earnings for the director. This was said to be because debts due by the director had been paid off. The Upper Tribunal held that neither income tax nor NICs were due. This was because any benefit was not ‘from’ the director’s employment, but arose instead from a mistake. There had been no intention to reward the director for his services by paying the premiums. The taxpayers’ appeals were thus allowed. The decision may be found here:

Corporation Tax Loss Reforms – MBL Seminars ~ Sarah Squires

Sarah will be speaking on the 2017 reforms to the availability of corporation tax loss relief at a seminar organised by MBL Seminars in Birmingham on 20 February  2019.

For more information, including how to register for the seminar, please see here

Pulsin’ Limited v. HMRC ~ Philip Simpson QC

Philip Simpson QC successfully represented the taxpayer in the case Pulsin’ Limited v. HMRC. The taxpayer manufactured gluten-free brownies. The question was whether they were cakes for VAT purposes, and therefore should be zero-rated. After a hearing that included a tasting session of Pulsin’s products as well as other, similar brownies, the FTT concluded that all four flavours of the taxpayer’s products were cakes.

This case follows on from Mr Simpson’s success, again for the taxpayer, in Lees of Scotland Limited v. HMRC [2014] UKFTT 630.

VAT and the evolution of the special investment fund ~ Etienne Wong

Etienne Wong recently had an article he co-authored with Alex Tostevin of Dentons published in the Tax Journal. A copy of article VAT and the evolution of the special investment fund can be seen here*.

*This article was first published in the 16 November 2018 issue of the Tax Journal, and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers. All rights reserved.

Ryanair: holding companies recovering VAT

Etienne Wong recently had an article entitled “Ryanair: holding companies
recovering VAT” published in the Tax Journal. A copy of the article* can be seen here.

*This article was first published in the 26 October 2018 issue of the Tax Journal, and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers. All rights reserved.