Financial Services Website Fights Off Twelve Year Old Tax Charge by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs for Small London Trader

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The case of one small London trader highlights impossible odds faced by small businesses in shrinking UK economy.

Financial services website has been engaged by a small London trader since September 2008 to assist with an ongoing debt recovery case involving Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs.

The trader received demands for a large sum of outstanding income tax from HMRC since the early months of 2008, for a liability relating to a self-employment tax return dating from the 1996/97 fiscal year. HMRC has charged automatic assessments, penalties and interest relating to self-employment for the years after 5 April 1997, demanding an amount of more than double the original liability of the 1996/97 tax return from the trader. approached the archiving office at HMRC to obtain a copy of the 1996/97 tax return, only to be informed that the return had been destroyed after 6 years. has informed the debt collecting office that the amount will not be paid as the evidence has been destroyed, making it impossible to establish if HMRC have made an error by not recording the date of cessation of trade or payment of the correct original liability. The trader has evidence to show that self-employment ceased after the 1996/97 tax year and has made official declarations that he was not trading as self-employed after 5 April 1997.

Without evidence, the case is unable to go to court, and several HMRC debt collectors continue to write demand letters and charge interest. The small trader is unable to obtain appropriate legal advice due to lack of funds. Without successful resolution of the dispute, any tax paid by the trader will be taken off the earliest debt owed, leaving the trader in an impossible position to defend himself.

HMRC insist that they were unable to contact the trader earlier. The trader insists that he has provided evidence that he was contacted by other HMRC departments and had notified HMRC and tax agents of his current address during the six year period. The trader has been unable to contact the agent responsible for dealing with the tax return and payments during the 1996/97 fiscal year. The case continues. has been analysing the credit crunch since 1996, and aims to bridge the gap between investors, business managers and accountants. Latest publications released include summary Power Point presentations of International Financial Reporting Standards and International Accounting Standards.


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Nicole Fowler
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