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B Bimson v HMRC

Personal tax: Compensation to subpostmaster on loss of office

In B Bimson v HMRC (TC00484 – 18 May) an individual (B) had been appointed as a subpostmaster in 2000. In 2005 the Post Office decided to close his office (along with a large number of similar post offices). The Post Office paid B £77 905 as compensation. B did not include this payment on his 2005/06 tax return. HMRC issued an amendment treating it as taxable under ITEPA 2003 s 401 (subject to relief for the first £30 000 under s 403). B appealed. The First-Tier Tribunal dismissed his appeal holding that a subpostmaster held an 'office' and the payment which B had received was taxable compensation for the loss of that office.

Why it matters: Even though many subpostmasters also operate a retail business the position of a 'subpostmaster' is an 'office' for tax purposes. It...

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