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Fiducia / CDP Corporate SDLT scheme: Invalid Closure Notices?
We have previously reported our assistance of a number of clients, following their usage of SDLT mitigation schemes, marketed by CDP Corporate and Fiducia.
Unsurprisingly, HMRC has continued its campaign of aggressively cracking down on the usage of such SDLT avoidance arrangements and has now started to issue Closure Notices, where users of such schemes have failed to settle with HMRC.
A Closure Notice is HMRC’s mechanism of completing an enquiry and the Closure Notice will either confirm that the return requires no amendments, or that it must be changed according to the officers’ conclusions. Once issued, the taxpayer has 30-days to appeal a Closure Notice and where they do not, the return becomes final and the tax is payable immediately.
We understand HMRC has issued a number of Closure Notices in relation to one particular CDP Scheme that seeks to exploit the security interest exemption, found in Section 48, Finance Act 2003.
However, notably, HMRC appears to be reluctant to set out the technical issues that it has with this particular arrangement. In our view, the Closure Notices fail to state any conclusion(s) as to why the scheme is ineffective as required by Paragraph 23 (1), Schedule 10, Finance Act 2003.
If we are correct and HMRC has failed to state any conclusion(s), then the Closure Notices could well be invalid and, as a result, can be appealed.
At ETC Tax we have an experienced and specialist team who liaise with HMRC on your behalf. Due to the nature of the schemes and the stage at which HMRC are in their investigations in to the scheme, the potential results you could obtain with our help will differ.
If you have used one of these schemes, or any other scheme, have received a letter from HMRC or are just concerned about your scheme usage, then then please get in touch.