We have recently been involved with a successful complaint to the Revenue Adjudicator on behalf of a client. The case is unusual but involved a claim by us that the client had been misdirected by HMRC in the past to their detriment. The taxpayer had received a VAT visit in 2008 after which a substantial assessment over £270K was raised as this officer disagreed with the VAT treatment of certain supplies to non UK customers.
However this treatment had been questioned and accepted in a previous visit that took place in 2003. A further visit took place in 2005 in which similar transactions were reviewed but not questioned.
When questioned by the Adjudicator, HMRC relied on the fact that they had issued a VAT notice to the taxpayer in 2005 and thus they maintained the assessment was valid. However the Adjudicator ruled that as the officer could not provide any further information and failed to provide an accompanying letter with the VAT notice drawing the taxpayer’s attention to the correct treatment, they had failed to provide sufficient advice
The Adjudicator upheld our complaint and directed that HMRC must withdraw the assessment and reimburse costs incurred.
We would always recommend in these situations that you always get written confirmation from HMRC.
If you need any further information, then do contact us