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Ames: a cautionary tale

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R Ames v HMRC highlights that current legislation, as drafted and interpreted by the courts, potentially deprives entrepreneurs and investors who have little or no income from deriving substantial benefits from claiming CGT relief under the enterprise investment scheme. To benefit from this relief, practitioners should ensure that clients claim income tax relief in the year in which they acquire their shares. Upon receiving tax determinations, practitioners should consult HMRC guidance to ensure that the decisions have been reached correctly. Should clients wish to appeal against these decisions, practitioners should warn clients of the frustration and anxiety that HMRC’s delays and potentially uncooperative approach to litigation may cause.

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