TaxPersonal TaxArctic Systems hearing ends one day early

Arctic Systems hearing ends one day early

Husband and wife case's hearing at House of Lords is wrapped up after two days, because law lords were well up to speed on the case

Advisers should not read anything into the fact that the Arctic Systems
hearing ended early at the House of Lords today.

The appeal hearing at the House of Lords was scheduled for three days,
however, the five law lords had heard enough by the middle of day two.

The case revolves around Geoff and Diana Jones’ business Arctic Systems. HM
Revenue & Customs is fighting the married
couple through the courts
over the way the couple split their salaries and
dividend earned from their business.

Chris Bryce, director of the
Professional
Contractors’ Group
, warned against reading anything into the quick
conclusion of the final leg of the tax battle through the courts.

‘I’m reasonably positive about the way the outcome will go, but can’t read
into the hearing finishing early,’ said Bryce.

Tax expert Anne Redston said the law lords were ‘well informed’ about the ins
and outs of the case, which sped the process up.

Redston said that if the judges decide their tax affairs were set up in
advance and designed to give something to the wife/husband, the law lords might
still add that the couple were exempt of tax under gift exemption rules.

‘This would in effect narrow the tax arrangement rules, which
HMRC
could consider a partial victory, but allow husband and wife businesses with
more beneficial tax treatment as fought for by the Jones,’ he said.

The result is not expected to be known for six to eight weeks.

Further reading:

HMRC: Arctic set-up is ‘voluntary joint
taxation’

Arctic Systems battle restarts

Arctic Systems timeline

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