Recent News & Events

VAT Focus – Totel: pay now, argue later ~ Article by Etienne Wong

Etienne Wong recently had his article entitled “Totel: pay now, argue later” published in The Tax Journal.

A copy of the article* can be seen here.

*This article was first published in the 7 September 2018 issue of the Tax Journal, and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers. All rights reserved.

Tax Congress For Financial Institutions – 18 – 19 September 2018

Etienne Wong will be amongst the panel members at a two-day conference hosted by Tax Congress For Financial Institutions, being held on 18th – 19th September 2018 at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel.

TCFI brings together the most dynamic organisations and influential leaders from the tax departments, giving the opportunity to make a direct impact on the tax landscape by connecting with regulators from organisations like HMRC and OECD.

For further information and booking, please click here. (Please use discount code SPK20DS for 20% off).

(Please note the prices apply to delegates only, and delegate places are open only to financial institutions. Please contact TCFI separately if you are joining as a vendor or service provider, i.e. software providers, technology providers, consultancies, outsource providers, brokers, custodians and investment banks. Osney Media reserves the right to cancel your place and refund your payment if the incorrect ticket has been purchased.)

STEP Private Client Awards 2018/19

Old Square Tax Chambers are pleased to announce that we have been shortlisted for Chambers of the Year at the STEP Private Client Awards 2018/19.

PCA18_Finalist_Chambers (002)

Repayment of overpaid VAT for groups of companies (Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Taylor Clark Leisure plc)

Etienne Wong has recently had an article published by LexisNexis entitled “Repayment of overpaid VAT for groups of companies (Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Taylor Clark Leisure plc)“.

A copy of the article* can be seen here.

*This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Tax on 18 July 2018, and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers. All rights reserved.

2018 Chambers & Partners HNW Guide

We are delighted to be ranked as a set in the 2018  Chambers & Partners HNW guide for Tax: Private Client. Especially pleased that James Kessler QC and Rory Mullan are individually ranked.  We would like to thank all our clients who contributed to the referee research process.

HNW Guide 2018: Old Square Tax Chambers is highly regarded for its private client tax work. “they are very, very clever – there are some very big brains in that set.” James Kessler QC is regarded as “one of the leaders in this field”. Rory Mullan;  a market insider reports that “he is quite visionary on European law and tax, which for the last three or four years has become essentially essential”.



36th Annual Oxford Four-Silk Residential Seminar and Workshop 


Wednesday September 26th to Friday 28th September 

Merton College, Oxford

 Early Bird Price £1,299 + VAT

Full Price £1,499  +  VAT

The aim of this year’s residential seminar is once again to examine, in the congenial atmosphere of an historic Oxford College, practical solutions to the ever changing fiscal complications to modern life.

In addition to regular talks, the Seminar will include for the first time interactive Discussion Sessions, monitored by two of the speakers, in which current tax planning issues will be considered, usually with case studies.


Robert Venables Q.C. (Chairman)

Mark Herbert Q.C.

James Kessler Q.C.

Philip Simpson Q.C.

Rory Mullan

Setu Kamal

Harriet Brown

Etienne Wong

Mary Ashley

Sarah Squires

Ross Birkbeck

Patrick Boch (joining Chambers in August 2018)

The speakers are all practising barristers.  They practise from Old Square Tax Chambers, 15 Old Square Lincoln’s Inn, London WC2A 3UE, except Mark Herbert, Q.C.


WEDNESDAY September 26th

12.00 Arrival and Registration

13.00 Lunch Merton College

14.00 Chairman’s Introduction

14.10 Disguised Remuneration April 5th 2019 Charge – Robert Venables Q.C.

When will it apply?  Who will be liable?  What anything be done to prevent it?

14.55 The New Close-Family Rules – Rory Mullan

Capital Gains Tax and Non-UK Resident Trusts (TCGA s.87G – 87H ) – Income Tax Settlement Provisions (ITTOIA s.643A – 643H) – Income Tax Transfer of Assets Abroad Provisions (ITA s.733A – 735B) – Planning Points

15.40  Claims against trustees – Mark Herbert Q.C.

Obtaining documents and the Data Protection Act – Not every duty owed by a fiduciary is a fiduciary duty’; discuss –  Equitable compensation and the duty to account – Accounting on the footing of wilful default – Limitation defences and laches

16.20 Discussion Session with Refreshments

16.40 Deemed Domicile Rules – Mary Ashley

New Rules for Inheritance Tax, Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax

17.20   Trades and Professions: New Anti-Avoidance Rules – Setu Kamal

Trading Income Through Third Parties: Finance (No 2) Act 2017 Anti-Avoidance Provisions – Consultation Document on Proposed Business profit fragmentation Rules

Close of Formal Proceedings for the Day

19.00 Pre-dinner drinks and dinner in the Great Hall

THURSDAY 27th September 2018

09.30 Chairman’s Introduction

09.35   Disregard of Capital Payments From Settlements – Robert Venables Q.C.

Disregard of payments: purpose and intention  – Payments to non-residents  – Payments in year settlement ends  – Payments received by close family members  – Interaction with other provisions.

10.20 Settlements Anti-avoidance Rules Concerning Onward Gifts – Harriet Brown

New rules in s.87I-87N TCGA 1992, 643I -643N ITTOIA 2007 and 733B-733E ITA 2007 – When is an onward gift made? – Scope of the rules and extent of potential liabilities – Commencement and application of the new rules

11.05 Discussion Session with Refreshments

11.20  Protected Foreign Source Income – James Kessler

Transfer of Assets Abroad Provisions – Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 Settlement Provisions

12.05     Partnership Taxation Post Finance Act 2018 – Philip Simpson Q.C.

Indirect partners – Bare trusts –  Returns: information to be included –  Returns: shares of profits and losses – Returns: overseas partners

12.50  Lunch

15.00 Taxation of Non-UK Residents on Gains from United Kingdom Land – Sarah Squires

Finance Act 2016 Regimes for corporation tax and income tax – Widened Scope of Charge – Comparison with Replaced Anti-Avoidance Provisions – Irrelevance of permanent establishment.  The Consultation Document Taxing gains made by non-residents on UK immovable property: extension of direct charge to all United Kingdom property interests – introduction of charge on indirectly held United Kingdom property interests – transitional provisions – TAAR – Forestalling

15.40 Discussion Session with Refreshments

16.00 Discussion Session 1

17.00 Discussion Session 2

18.00 Close of Formal Proceedings for the Day

19.15 Pre dinner drinks

19.45 Gala Dinner Merton College (Black-Tie Optional) in the Great Hall

FRIDAY 28TH September 2018

09.30 – Chairman’s Introduction

09.35 Discussion Session 3

10.20 Tax Litigation – Patrick Boch

Tax Litigation From the Perspective of A Former HMRC Litigator – the Life of A Tax Dispute: Pre-enquiry, Enquiry, Stages of Appeal – HMRC Litigation and Settlement Strategy – Ineffective Strategies for Dealing with HMRC – Effective Strategies for Dealing with HMRC

11.05 Discussion Session with Refreshments

11.25 Reports of Discussion Sessions Followed by Questions to Speakers

12.45 Lunch

14.00 Close of Seminar


Each Discussion Session will be held three times over, at the times indicated above, to limit the number of those participating in each session.

Discussion Session A, lead by Rory Mullan and Ross Birkbeck:  Domicile and Deemed Domicile

Discussion Session B, lead by James Kessler and Harriet Brown: Capital Gains Tax Liabilities of Non-UK Resident Trustees, their Settlors and Beneficiaries.

Discussion Session C, lead by Robert Venables and Mary Ashley: Income Taxation of Trusts, their Settlors and Beneficiaries

Discussion Session D, lead by Sarah Squires and Etienne Wong: Taxation of Non-UK Residents re United Kingdom Land



£1, 499 per delegate plus VAT (£299.80) = £1,798.80


For bookings confirmed by August 1st 2018

£1,299 per delegate + VAT (£259.80) = £1,558.80

(to include course notes, accommodation, meals and wines.)



For application and conditions please contact:

Key Haven Publications Ltd, PO Box 669, Oxford OX3 3AU

Tel: 01865 352121


Conferences Terms and Conditions

Cancellations: Those confirmed in writing 30 days prior to the Seminar qualify for a refund subject to a £150 charge. Cancellations within 30 days prior to the seminar do not qualify for a refund, although substitutions will normally be allowed at Key Haven’s discretion, subject to a £50 administration fee.

Disclaimer: Key Haven Publications Ltd reserves the right to change the speakers or the programme for any reasons beyond its control or on account of changes in the law. Nothing in the talks or discussions or the prepared notes constitute legal advice. They are simply an expression of the speakers’ views, put forward for consideration and discussion. No action should be taken nor omitted in reliance on them but independent professional advice should be taken in every case. Neither the speakers nor Key Haven Publications Ltd accept any legal responsibility for them.

Warning: Neither Key Haven Publications Ltd nor the speakers gives any licence to any person to record and/or reproduce in any format (including sound and/or visual recording) (a) any Notes prepared in conjunction with this seminar; (b) the delivery by any speaker of any talk or any response to any question or discussion, in whole or in part, on any of the above. Any such unlicensed recording or reproduction or the making of any such epitome or transcript is a civil wrong and could well involve the commission of a criminal offence.


Glasgow School of Art v. HMRC ~ Philip Simpson QC

Philip Simpson QC appeared for the taxpayer in Glasgow School of Art v. HMRC [2018] UKFTT 276 (TC). The case concerned whether the construction of a new building (the Reid Building) for the Glasgow School of Art and the refurbishment of another building (the Assembly Building) constituted separate supplies, and whether the lease the School of Art granted to the Students’ Association counted as economic activity, despite a low rent. The Tribunal held that the Assembly and the Reid Buildings were a single building, because of one fire door that linked the two. In any event, the features of the single construction contract that covered both sets of works meant that there was a single supply. The low rent meant that the lease to the Students’ Association was not in itself economic activity, but part of the overall educational activity of the School of Art.

Etienne Wong appointed National Chairman of the VAT Practitioners Group

Old Square Tax Chambers would like to congratulate Etienne Wong on being appointed the National Chairman of the VAT Practitioners Group.

The National Chairman of the VPG is responsible for:

  • •Presiding over the VPG Council by setting the Agenda for and chairing meetings of the VPG Council;
  • •Setting the Agenda for and chairing the Annual General Meeting of the VPG;
  • •Coordinating the National Officer elections;
  • •Ensuring the VPG Constitution is fit for purpose;
  • •Co-operating with other organisations on behalf of the VPG.

SiBCAS LTD V. HMRC ~ Philip Simpson QC

Philip Simpson, Q.C., has successfully appeared for Sibcas Limited in an appeal concerning the VAT liability of temporary school accommodation. On appeal from the Upper Tribunal (which had found in HMRC’s favour), the Court of Session concluded that having regard to the nature of Sibcas’ business (the manufacture and hire of accommodation units) and the terms of the hire in the particular case, the supply was not the letting of moveable property. It was therefore standard-rated. This makes it significantly easier for Sibcas to operate the VAT treatment of its business.

A copy of the judgment can be viewed here.

VAT reverse charge for construction services ~ Etienne Wong

Etienne Wong has recently had an article published by LexisNexis entitled “VAT reverse charge for construction services“.

A copy of the article* can be seen here.

*This interview was first published on LexisNexis on 15 June 2018, and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publishers. All rights reserved.