Kev Kinsella of KinsellaTax Investigations Ltd is delighted by the news that equitable liability is to become part of the law.

The Treasury revealed the welcome turn-around in the department’s treatment of the concession last week.

HMRC’s practice of not pursuing tax liabilities in cases in which doing so would be ‘unconscionable’ was due to be one of the ten concessions to be withdrawn in April 2010.

However, objections from throughout the tax sector have led to the Government reconsidering their plan and choosing to legislate for equitable liability ‘at the earliest opportunity’.

Stephen Timms, the financial secretary to the Treasury said the following:-

‘This will ensure that those taxpayers who have difficulty coping with tax system and fail to meet their legal obligations will be protected formally in future.’

‘It is clear that the Government were caught by surprise by the strength of the reaction to their proposal to abolish this practice. To its great credit that it immediately agreed to sit down with… tax professionals and listen to our concerns,’ said Tenon’s Andrew Hubbard, who is the president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and helped to co-ordinate a campaign to retain the concession.

He continued by saying:-

‘Following last week’s (launch of the) HMRC charter, this is another example of how constructive working between the Revenue and tax professionals is leading to beneficial results and a fairer tax system – and that is in the interests of tax collectors, advisers and payers alike.’

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