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HMRC seek to remove AML cases from Tribunal due to withdrawal of lead cases. What you need to do.

4th August, 2021

HMRC seek to remove AML cases from Tribunal due to withdrawal of lead cases. What you need to do.

If you have used a contractor arrangement, operated or promoted by AML using Knox House Trustees and you are yet to settle with HMRC then you may need to take steps to protect yourself.

The AML arrangements were known by many different names and were marketed to those in the medical, offshore oil, engineering and IT contracting industries.

If you have been involved in one of these arrangements, you will be aware that HMRC have been investigating them for a number of years.

When the inevitable enquiries from HMRC resulted in a hearing before a Tribunal, there were a number of preliminary hearings to discuss issues around the use and appropriateness of APNs and discovery assessment processes. (See for example, Janet Addo TC/2016/02522). The substantive issues (i.e. was there a tax liability at all and if so, who was liable) were to be subject to future hearings.

In February 2021, WTT was advised that the lead names (those selected as examples of the arrangements) in the AML PCC scheme had withdrawn their appeals and as a result there was no case to advance into a Tribunal hearing and all attempts to contact a relevant AML entity had apparently failed. In July 2021, WTT was advised that another Tribunal hearing, was in danger of being struck out as AML Tax (IOM) Ltd had failed to respond to directions (instructions) from the Tribunal dating back to January 2020.  

Our own attempts to contact any extant AML entity for an update have not been met with any success. As a result we have held a number of discussions with HMRC directly in order to protect those involved in the historic arrangements. These discussions, whilst ongoing, have yet to arrive at a conclusion and consequently we have made contact with the tribunal directly, to ensure the matter is dealt with expediently.

There are likely to be many hundreds of users of AML products who were not “lead cases” and who are now in limbo and facing a choice between a settlement with HMRC (which may be out of their financial reach) or restarting a litigation action in Tribunal on their own (assuming that this is possible). Where the latter is your chosen route forward you now need to understand the current landscape and ensure that your interests are protected.

You may be aware that we represent a large number of clients affected by this arrangement and have developed technical arguments for a defence. If you are affected please get in touch and we can discuss what options are available and how we are in progressing the situation.  

WTT Consulting is a specialist tax enquiry business with a strong position in the contracting and freelancing world. We have spent thousands of hours researching the arrangements sold to contractors since 2001, all of which promised “high take home pay” and which assured users of their “tax compliance”. Sadly these assurances have been largely proven to be unreliable and HMRC is running an active, aggressive and entirely unsympathetic campaign to recover tax they think is due. Despite many expert parties from the House of Lords downwards, pointing out to HMRC that their policy in pursuing users of schemes, rather than promoters and employers, is deeply flawed and without merit, logic or reasonableness, there is no sign of the agency relenting. It is therefore, strongly recommended you take steps to protect your position.

All initial calls are on a no obligation basis. It costs nothing to reach out and get acquainted with the situation by speaking with an expert.

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