TaxPersonal TaxSection 660 to stay, says Revenue

Section 660 to stay, says Revenue

Up to 30,000 small companies are at risk of landing a crippling retrospective tax bill after the Inland Revenue refused to back down over its use of the so-called husband and wife tax rule, Section 660.

The profession initially estimated that up to 100,000 businesses could be caught out under the legislation.

But the Revenue’s estimates have done little to appease experts, despite claims that it will not significantly increase the number of investigations carried out each year.

It is the continuing uncertainty that has enraged tax experts. ‘The Revenue says it has only investigated about 100 cases in the last decade, and doesn’t intend to increase these significantly,’ said Tim Ambrose, president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. ‘How can (small businesses) decide if they are in the Revenue’s target for a backdated claim?’

John Whiting, a tax partner at Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, said he was disappointed but not surprised by the Revenue’s stance. ‘I wasn’t expecting (the Revenue) to roll over and wave its feet in the air,’ he said.

The decision confirms that some cases involving backdated Section 660 claims will almost certainly end up in the courts.

The tax page returns next month.

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