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Prowse v HMRC

In Prowse v HMRC (TC03617 – 21 May 2014) the FTT allowed the taxpayers’ appeal against a determination by HMRC that they were liable for PAYE which had not been paid by their employer.

Mr and Mrs Prowse were directors of a company which had been liquidated leaving unpaid PAYE liabilities. HMRC made determinations shifting the liabilities to the taxpayers (under the Income Tax (PAYE) Regulations SI 2003/2682 reg 72).

HMRC contended that the conditions for demanding payment from the employees were met: the employees had received relevant payments; the employer had wilfully failed to deduct PAYE; and the employees knew of the failure.

Mr and Mrs Prowse argued that the payroll was run by an unconnected third party and that there had been no wilful failure to deduct PAYE. Furthermore the decision to switch from dividend payments to salaries (which had enhanced HMRC’s suspicions) had...

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