Reliance on Accountant Shows Reasonable Care

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 Emma Walker Watson Ramsbottom SolicitorsEmma Walker, a solicitor in our wills and probate team at Watson Ramsbottom looks at the HMRC’s attitude to an accountant’s advice.

If you rely on your accountant’s advice regarding a tax issue, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will now regard you as having taken ‘reasonable care’ to get things right and will not impose a penalty.

On 14 February, HMRC issued new guidance relating to the penalties regime for failure to take reasonable care in making tax returns. It states that if you have ‘used a tax adviser with the appropriate expertise, HMRC would normally consider this as having taken reasonable care’ unless you do not give them ‘accurate and complete information’. It warns that ‘if you don’t, and you send HMRC a return or other document that’s inaccurate, you could be charged penalties for inaccuracies’.

The relaxation does not apply when it relates to a tax avoidance arrangement which is subsequently defeated by HMRC.

The guidance came a week after a taxpayer who was misadvised by his accountant relating to the availability of loss reliefs on furnished holiday lettings had his penalties quashed by the First-tier Tribunal.

If you have relied on professional advice that has subsequently proven to be incorrect and this has caused you to suffer a loss, contact us for guidance on the appropriate steps to take.

For help about any issues relating to wills and probate, please contact Emma Walker, a solicitor in our wills and probate team at Watson Ramsbottom on 01254 88 44 22 or complete our online enquiry form discuss your concerns with one of our team of expert advisors.