search our site


Christopher Lunn & Co is back in business as an HMRC agent

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 17 February 2011
Christopher Lunn & Co, an accountancy firm based in Crowborough, Sussex, scored a victory over HMRC earlier this week.

The Revenue had banned the firm from acting as an agent while it investigated allegations of malpractice. Mr Justice Parker heard the case, which lasted two days, and concluded that HMRC should not have withdrawn the agent status of the firm. Instead, the company should have been told about the evidence against it and given the opportunity to make representations before any action was taken.

The case has now been referred back to the commissioners and HMRC will have to treat Christopher Lunn as an agent.

This case first started in April 2009 when an HMRC inspector discovered evidence that record-keeping at the firm did not meet statutory requirements. For example, expense claims were not exclusively incurred for the purposes of business and revenues were often estimated.

The Revenue launched a criminal investigation into the firm and raided its offices in June last year. Files on all the 7,000 clients were removed, as were computers. HMRC also contacted the accountant's clients requesting them to disclose any irregularities. Based on the evidence received, the Revenue terminated CLAC's agent status last November.

The lawyer representing Christopher Lunn argued that HMRC had given no indication that the firm's status as an agent was to be terminated, nor had it been given the chance to make representations.

The system as is doesn't appear to be very efficient. We don't want rogue agents and draft legislation on working with agents has been omitted from the Finance Bill 2011. But this case shows that there needs to be more communication between HMRC commissioners and the firms they deal with.

© 2010 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Image: Ilm City by the contented

We'd love you to stay in touch - why not subscribe to our updates?

To subscribe to our weekly newsletter, simply include your name and email address below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

freelancesupermarket.com services

showcasing freelance services


set flsm to your home page

add flsm to your favorites