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Wells: a story of failed tax integration

It’s a familiar kind of story. Mr Wells is an artist selling his creations through galleries (they are semi-impressionist townscapes in general and he also does concept sketching for architects but art criticism/appreciation is not the focus of this article). Being an artist he delegates all his worldly concerns to his accountant. For whatever precise reason he missed the obligation to register for VAT in 2006/07. This subsisted until 2011 when HMRC referred to his income tax return and found that he probably ought to have been VAT registered. The apparent oversight was that he was counting income net of commissions as turnover when he should have been using income gross of commissions as the yardstick. The decision says nothing about whether any of the sales could have been classified...

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