Saturday, January 24, 2015

Double standards

Over 100 ex footballers in the UK face financial ruin according to the Guardian.

Whilst they were playing, they earned up to six figure and even million pound salaries and sought to gain tax relief through a scheme that involved investing in the British film industry. Their financial advisers sold them the schemes operated by Ingenious Media and the players bought into them thinking that this was a good investment and even more important a way of avoiding paying tax.

Unfortunately, Inland Revenue have challenged the validity of the two schemes, Ingenious Games LLP and Ingenious Film Partners 2 LLP, saying that they did not operate in a way that really qualified. and are now demanding repayment of the tax relief which of course in most cases has already been spent.

Interestingly, the schemes date back to 2000 - 14 years ago.  I say that because, this year we became aware that we should not have been paying tax on our state pensions in the UK.

We filled in the appropriate forms showing we were tax residents in Spain in 2006 and sent them to HMRC. Once we were in receipt of our state pensions they should have been acted upon but weren't. We simply assumed, because we have government pensions that have to be taxed in the UK, we were not eligible.

Once it became clear that we should NOT have been taxed on our “old age” pensions we applied to claim the tax back; in my case two years (plus this tax year) and in Pamela’s seven (plus this year). In reply to my letter, HMRC told Pamela that she could only claim back four years because they only have records going back so far.

It seems if you owe HMRC back tax they can go back as far as needs be but if they owe you tax that should not have been paid in the first place then four years is the limit. The word “crooks” comes to mind.  

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