Arctic decision means ‘Friday 13th for small business’

artcic systems couple

The decision to petition to appeal in the Arctic Systems case proves that
today really is Friday the 13th for small businesses, a senior tax adviser has

Responding to the announcement earlier today, Chas Roy-Chowdhury of ACCA told
Accountancy Age: ‘They’ve created a sea of uncertainty. It’s Friday the
13th for small businesses’.

Mike Warburton of Grant Thornton said the decision was a ‘great pity’ and a
‘missed opportunity’.

The Revenue had had the opportunity to ‘give in gracefully’, added Warburton,
predicting that the Lords would be unlikely to allow the petition.

It was unclear precisely how much uncertainty had been resolved by HMRC’s
guidance on the cases, which said businesses should file on the basis of the
Court of Appeal judgment.

Francesca Lagerberg of Smith & Williamson said that businesses could only
file on the basis of the law as it stood, and that any Lords decision to
overturn the judgment would only take effect later.

‘I would much prefer them to have said we have taken this far enough,’ added

Roy-Chowdhury said: ‘Clearly HMRC feels there is a principle at stake. It
would look odd to go this far and then let go’.

It could be months before a decision on whether or not to hear the case will
be taken. The Court of Appeal had refused a leave to appeal, prompting HMRC’s
decision to make a last-ditch petition.

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