Taxation – Partners face tax troubles

Partnerships could be falsely accused of non-payment of tax due to problems at the Inland Revenue.

The threat was highlighted by insolvency practitioner Leonard Curtis, which received numerous demands for payments that partners in the firm had already made.

Partners at the firm’s Manchester office received threats that bailiffs would be sent in, after the Revenue failed to identify payments before the assessment in the 1996/1997 year.

Leonard Curtis partner Keith Goodman said: ‘It seems any partnership that paid tax for last year’s profits, before an assessment was raised, could find themselves in difficulties because the Revenue will not be able to trace it. They cannot seem to locate the tax payment from last year.

Goodman said data detailing partnership payments in 1996/1997 may not relate to data for individual assessment in 1997/1998. ‘I would say that many others are in the same boat as us,’ he said.

A Revenue spokeswoman said it was not aware of any problems relating to self-assessment for partnerships. ‘There is nothing specific that we are aware of. This case must be a one-off,’ she said.

Neville Russell tax partner Andrew Burgess said he had not come across specific self-assessment problems for partnerships. ‘It beggars belief that the Revenue does not have a record of this payment,’ he said.

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