Litigants in Person left ‘high and dry’ by Les Howard, partner in, a specialist VAT practice based in Cambridgeshire

Taxpayers facing an investigation should seek expert help immediately, says Les Howard.

This is a subject I have mentioned before. Litigants in Person (LiPs) will struggle at tax tribunal unless the matter in hand is fairly straightforward. The Irene and Attila Balazs case was certainly not straightforward!

The husband-and-wife partnership was involved in property management. An HMRC investigation was triggered by the VAT registrations of two of their suppliers being cancelled. As a result, HMRC denied input tax of around £43,000 on ‘Kittel’ principles – the taxpayer partnership knew or should have known that the transactions were connected with fraudulent evasion of VAT.

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