Monday, October 13, 2008

Ten tax mistakes that could result in professional negligence claims

• Omitting to consider the VAT implications of significant property transactions;
• Loss of tax credits as entitlement not claimed early enough – eg: when unincorporated business client suffers a loss;
• Failure to claim research and development tax credits before deadline;
• Omitting to reorganise group companies to reduce ‘avoidable’ tax charges;
• Failure to advise clients to correct their payroll procedures so as to reduce penalties;
• Omitting to provide ‘standard’ tax planning advice on arrival or departure from UK, on mergers, on acquisitions, pre sales;
• Ignoring consequential adverse implications leading to avoidable tax liabilities (eg: VAT, SDLT, IHT, NICs, Customs duties etc) when giving commercial or ‘basic’ tax advice;
• Omitting to compute and report the tax consequences of transactions such as disincorporation;
• Failure to ensure that all relevant criteria are satisfied to facilitate a claim for specific reliefs (eg: Enterprise Investment Scheme);
• Assuming that there would be no liability to inheritance tax and failing to advice as to how the real liability could be reduced;

The above list forms part of the material covered in my regular talks for accountants and tax advisers on the subject of 'How to avoid professional negligence claims'

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