HMRC have up to 20 years to raise a query. They could raise a query now and another later. If the other side are genuinely concerned about the risk that HMRC might challenge, they need to wait 20 years. 3 months is neither here nor there and if I concede the principle they could delay payment indefinitely. The Order says that the distribution should be paid out once the tax is paid, I see no reason to go against the Order. Are you saying that Judges dont know how HMRC work and so I am at risk of an Order being made against me through the ignorance of a Judge?
Clare, HMRC do not "make initial checks of the calculations". They apply a statistical analysis (by computer, instantaneously on filing) across all self-assessment returns and identify some as outliers and some are selected on a random basis. They then work through those in a priority known only to HMRC. Where do you get the idea that HMRC "make initial checks"? Are you saying a Judge is likely to have the same belief about how HMRC works? How can I prove to a Judge that HMRC works the way I have said? I have just spoken with HMRC who confirm what I have said (which my and every other accountant in the country will confirm). thanks
The way it works is that self-assessment returns are selected for review instantaneously, but then reviewed manually, following a priority set by software. It is possible that this one could be reviewed immediately, but also possible it might not be reviewed for a year. As I explained before, technically HMRC have up to 20 years before one can say the return is "agreed" (or at least "accepted") though of course, in practice, after a year the probability of a challenge is low. My concern with your proposal is that if I concede the idea of a delay, I have no basis for restricting it to three months - they could ask for a year and I would be in a sticky position before a Judge to explain why it should be three months rather than a year. (or two years, for that matter). the wording in the Order is: The first available £35,000.00 [from sale of FMH] shall be set aside for the payment of any capital gains tax liability incurred in respect of the transfer of the Welsh Property. That sum is to be held by the conveyancing solicitors in the absence of the parties agreeing any other mechanism to retain those funds after the sale but before the payment of the agreed capital gains tax. Any funds available after the payment of the agreed capital gains tax shall with accrued interest be divided equally between the parties." Now the amount of the CGT has been determined by a joint expert and was due to be paid last week. Can you see anything in the wording of the Order that suggests there should be an interval between tax paid and division? And should I sue the ex wife or the conveyancing solicitor who is holding the funds? I recognise an agreement between the parties would be preferable to litigation, but my ex wife is very angry that I divorced her and has not been willing to mediate at any stage in the proceedings. thanks
Clare, I do appreciate the time you are taking over this, but I cannot agree with your understanding of how HMRC work. There is no notion of "acknowledgement" or "immediate query" in how they operate. But please just help me to understand one last thing and I will go away - why can I not sue the conveyancing solicitor or my ex wife? Is the Order not already clear? thanks
Clare, sadly I do have a good understanding of the mindset of my ex-wife and her lawyers and it is not conducive to settlement on any reasonable basis. I initially employed a collaborative lawyer but my ex wife employed the antagonistic type and refused mediation which has set a pattern throughout. Please just explain why I cannot sue the solicitor holding the money in the small claims court. It appears to me I have a Court Order which they have no good reason for not following. In fact, I have a letter from them to the other side saying that they think the money should be paid out. They are just afraid that the other side have said they dont want any money to be paid out unless I agree for Mrs Ainsworth to be paid but for my share to sit in the kitty indefinitely - they have not said three months, they have said until HMRC agree the tax. As that is 20 years away its not very reasonable. I believe I have a contract with the conveyancing solicitor to apply the Order and if they dont apply it they are in breach of contract and so a simple small claims matter, no?