Construction firm sues Menzies over tax advice

THE OWNERS of a construction business have launched a legal battle for compensation from accountants Menzies.

Company directors Hugh and Susan Kitchin, their son Alexander, and Brian Doolan are demanding damages of more than £168,000 from the Farnborough based firm.

They are joined in their claim by construction company HA & DB Kitchin, the partnership HA & BD Kitchin, and Will Hall Properties (Alton) Ltd.

Menzies produced accounts and tax returns for the company between 2003 and 2008, when property developer Mr Kitchin senior brought in accountants Wilkins Kennedy instead, according to a High Court claim.

The directors and businesses accuse Menzies of making mistakes over their tax returns, leading to repayment by HMRC of more than £35,000 to Hugh Kitchin and £3,000 to Alexander Kitchin in 2009.

They say Menzies misdeclared VAT, which meant Will Hall had to pay a penalty of £1,548 in 2009.

They accuse Menzies of breach of contract and negligence, and say the firm failed to advise how their liabilities could be minimised, and failed to calculate accurately the level of the partnership debt.

A Menzies spokesman said: “Having examined details of the allegation carefully, we believe this claim to be unfounded and intend to vigorously defend our work.”

One transaction in 2003 was described as £240,732 when it should have been £470,006 while another in 2005 was described as £7,094 when it should have been £499,071, the claim alleges.

Mr and Mrs Kitchin, Mr Kitchin, and Mr Doolan, all of The Old Manor, Newton Valance, Alton, Hampshire, and their businesses, all of The Barn, Will Hall Farm, Basingstoke Road, Bolton, Hampshire, say their losses total £168,156.50.

Their claim was issued by Ian Lakin of solicitors Cavendish Lakin.

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