Rev file loss courts problems

Tax accountants have been mulling over last week’s test case on Arctic Systems.

One aspect of the case that remains unclear, intrigued TS: to what extent can the Revenue apply the rules retrospectively? Is the lack of clarity because the judge was ambivalent about retrospection, or is the Revenue restricted?

No. The reason why the rules were not applied retrospectively is that the Revenue lost its past files on Arctic Systems. To be more precise, the Revenue did not have the relevant documents, and only found them at the last minute. On doing so, it ruminated over the issue and decided not to pursue the earlier years.

So will the Revenue be applying the rules retrospectively? Sadly, ‘election purdah’, the excuse the government departments give for saying even less than they usually do, prevented it from giving us a definite answer.

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