Judge orders pharmacist to seek tax advice

Judge orders pharmacist to seek tax advice

A judge has suspended a penalty against a pharmacist on condition he seeks advice on his tax situation.

Nicholas Aleksander, a judge in the First Tier Tribunal, suspended a penalty levied against Bharat Patel by Revenue & Customs on the basis that he misunderstood the tax system.

The case was heard after HMRC investigated Mr Patel’s 2009 to 2010 self-assessment tax return and the tax affairs of his company World Class Products Limited, through which he intends to undertake his locum pharmacist business.

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Among the issues HMRC looked into was whether Mr Patel was entitled to a deduction for the cost of acquiring guaranteed equity bonds as part of a “self-invested personal plan”.

Judge Aleksander found that Mr Patel’s conduct in claiming a deduction was “careless”.

He said: “We have decided that one of the reasons for the errors in the tax returns made by Mr Patel and his company stem from his careless and negligent misunderstanding of the way in which businesses undertaken by individuals and companies are taxed.

“If Mr Patel had the benefit of competent advice, we consider that he may never have got himself and his company into this position.”

Judge Aleksander ruled Mr Patel had two years from 14 July 2015 to seek advice from an accountant or tax adviser and then to file accurate tax returns.