Lo TC 0605 [2018] – Principal Private Residence

The First Tier Tribunal considered if the tax payer’s occasional occupation at the property over a period of time amounted to her making it her principal residence. Although the tax payer tried to convince the judges that making the property her main residence was always her intention, the Tribunal was not convinced that this was the case. The Tribunal considered a series of factors and events in the tax payer’s life which pointed towards the fact that this property was not being used as her main residence. As a result, the tax payer had to pay the capital gains tax of £105,294 and penalties of £21,058.

Our analysis: In our view, this could have been concluded much sooner outside of the Tribunal with some form of a settlement which would have been better than the Tribunal result. For this reason, we strongly feel that specialist tax advisers should be appointed where a tax dispute is getting out of hand.

Tax investigation closed after one meeting

This was a tax investigation that HMRC opened into a retail outlet. Having considered the case and the background, we invited HMRC officers for a meeting at our client’s premises where we explained in detail our client’s position and the nature of the trade. The HMRC inspectors asked a number of questions and were satisfied after the first meeting and decided to close the case after a few weeks without making any adjustments. The client was naturally very nervous at the beginning and was quite pleased with the outcome. We are grateful to the HMRC officers for their cooperation and quick understanding of our client’s business.

Our analysis: This case could have dragged on for a long time and is a good example of cooperation. The main factors for early closure were establishing a good relationship with the HMRC inspectors and providing the required information in an effective manner.