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HMRC v Holland

In HMRC v Holland (SC – 24 November) a married couple each held 50% of the issued share capital in a company (P) which held 100% of the issued share capital of two subsidiary companies which in turn were appointed to act as director and secretary of a further 42 companies. Although these companies were ‘associated’ within ICTA 1988 s 13 none of them accounted for the higher rate of corporation tax.

HMRC issued assessments which the companies failed to pay. They all went into administration in October 2004 and subsequently went into liquidation. HMRC which was the only creditor formed the opinion that the couple were de facto directors of the 42 companies and had acted in breach of their duties by causing the companies to pay substantial dividends without making provision for the higher rate of corporation tax.

They took...

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