“HMRC ‘nudge’ Letters To Property Owners

“HMRC ‘nudge’ Letters To Property Owners

We are aware that HMRC has recently issued some 14,000 letters to property owners. This specifically relates to information HMRC has concerning property sale transactions in 2018 and 2019. HMRC will have checked the addresses against tax returns and have a suspicion that the owner may not have declared a taxable capital gain on this sale. 

Nudge letters have no legal jurisdiction but they are a serious warning that HMRC will open a formal investigation if there is no response. We would advise anyone in receipt of one of these letters to take professional advice before replying to HMRC. We can assist taxpayers and their advisers with the best way forward. This may include making a disclosure to HMRC or submitting a report that there was no capital gain. 

We would also advise that any property owners that have sold or rented out property which has not previously been declared to HMRC to take advice before HMRC approach you with an similar nudge letter, tax investigation or even worse, a criminal prosecution for tax evasion, before it is too late. Making a voluntary disclosure to HMRC will help reduce any tax-based penalty. 

Please also join us for our Webinar on 11 November 2020 at 12:00 when our Tax Investigation experts Dave Jennings and Phillip Webb discuss the current disclosure facilities that are available with HMRC.”

Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution

This is a reminder to all our readers that when HMRC may make their final decisions at the end of their investigations, that is not necessarily  the end of the matter. If you dispute the decision that HMRC are making then there are two courses of action you can follow. Firstly, any decision will give you a deadline 30 days to make your appeal. You should appeal within this deadline of thirty days. These deadlines are carefully watched by HMRC and should be adhered to, but if something has caused you to miss the deadline that must be fully documented when making your appeal. 

Once you have appealed, you can go in two directions. If you believe the decision is completely wrong then you should proceed to a full Tribunal hearing, more of that below. 

If you believe that HMRC may be owed some money for example, but nowhere near what they say you owe, then you may wish to consider Alternative Dispute Resolution. This allows you to suit down in a meeting chaired by an independent facilitator and discuss what you believe the true position is. This process is designed to reach compromises whilst usually acknowledging that HMRC are owed some money. 

If however you are adamant HMRC are wrong, then you can proceed to a full Tribunal where you will have the opportunity to make your case. Once there, HMRC will state their case and you will have the opportunity to state yours. This will involve you producing a witness statement that will allow you to put not only your side of things, but show the evidence that you believe proves HMRC are wrong. A Tribunal Judge will listen to both sides and then will decide the outcome of your case. Should the case still go against you there are opportunities to appeal to higher courts, especially if you think HMRC and the Tribunal have made errors of law. 

If you have an HMRC decision that you are not happy and with and you wish to appeal, please call our specialist team of Dave Jennings and Phillip Webb who will be happy to discuss matters and to help you decide on the best way forward. The number can be found on this website.