C&G bonus awaits

The Inland Revenue and Cheltenham & Gloucester building society areeltenham & Gloucester’s investor bonuses, responsibility remains split for informing the public. split over who should bear responsibility for informing thousands of investors they stand to benefit from over #59m in tax refunds.

Savers can claim the windfall after the Revenue backed down last April over the payment of capital gains tax on bonuses paid when C&G was taken over by Lloyds TSB Bank.

The Revenue claimed the bonuses were taxable but was overruled by the Commissioners after a hearing was brought by accountants Horwath Clark Whitehill on behalf of 400 investors.

Jeremy Clarke-Morris, tax senior at the firm’s Gloucester office, said the Revenue will sit on over #59m in unclaimed tax rebates if the savers affected are not contacted.

‘The Revenue would probably have to trawl through every single file to locate all those affected and it has neither the time nor the resources to do that. Since the Commissioners’ decision, all those affected should have already contacted the Revenue or they will never receive the rebate and the money will probably simply lie dormant,’ he said.

A C&G spokeswoman said it was the duty of the Revenue to inform individuals concerned of their right to claim rebates.

‘It would be difficult for us to know what the tax liabilities are for investors. We advised them in 1995 that they might or might not be eligible for a tax rebate and our involvement ended there,’ she said.

But the Revenue said it had fulfiled its obligation by making the decision of the Commissioners known to the public. ‘We don’t want to take tax from people they don’t have to pay. We want people to pay the right tax.

‘We have sent out communication to all our offices telling people to keep an eye out for cases. Our responsibility is to keep people posted and we have done that,’ said a Revenue spokesperson.

Related reading