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Providence Health Consultants Ltd v HMRC

In Providence Health Consultants Ltd v HMRC (TC02988 – 1 November 2013) an accountant – who purported to be a member of ICAEW – had been appointed by a company director to manage the company’s tax affairs. This included the filing of tax returns and the setting up of a PAYE scheme (the ‘scheme’). The accountant was actually not a member of ICAEW and never contacted HMRC to set up the scheme.

When a paper return had been rejected by HMRC (as it should have been filed online) the director had become aware of a problem and had appointed other accountants who proceeded to bring their client’s affairs into order expediently.

The issue was whether the reliance by the company director on an accountant was a reasonable excuse. The tribunal found in favor of the taxpayer who ‘had had no reason to suspect’ that the first appointed adviser...

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