Protection needed for small companies, advisers say
Arctic case provokes angry fallout between advisers and HMRC
Tax advisers are pushing for greater protection for small businesses from the
taxman in the wake of Arctic Systems’ victory last week.
Mike Warburton, senior tax partner at Grant Thornton, is quoted in
The Sunday Times this weekend saying: ‘[The Revenue used] its
power and resources to bully a number of taxpayers into accepting their view of
the legislation – not because they agreed, but because they could not afford to
fight back. By picking on a soft target they nearly got away with it,’ he said.
The case caused a great deal of concern amongst advisers, not least because
HMRC appeared to attempt to bully small businesses into submission on the issue
by not paying for the test case.
Warburton and others are pushing for greater protection for small businesses
from those tactics, amidst fears expressed by Warburton that the Treasury ‘may
try this on again with the next soft target they can think of.’