Your IndustryAug 25 2017

Woodford's torrid time and taxman troubles: the week in news

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Woodford's torrid time and taxman troubles: the week in news
ByDamian Fantato

It’s been a week characterised by lots of nervous envelope opening – and we’re not talking about advisers receiving their FSCS bill.

A-level and GCSE results take us all back a few years (some more than others) but let’s cast our minds back just a few days. It’s time for the week in news.

1) They are the taxmen, I am the walrus (goo goo g’joob)

In the absence of any other government body providing us with news, HM Revenue & Customs has been doing a pretty good job on its own.

The taxman suffered two court defeats: one because it accused someone of filing a late return but failed to provide any evidence, and another because it claimed a livery business didn’t qualify for business property relief because it was an investment (the judge disagreed).

Meanwhile HMRC published the list of tax avoidance cases which went to court, revealing it lost only three of the 26 cases.

In the dog days of summer there are plenty of hacks who are thinking their taxes have proved worthwhile this week.

2) It’s a trap!

Rule number one of breaking the law, is surely not telling the police about what you’re up to.

If doing so was part of Abid Hussain’s plan, then it looks like the 40-year-old has fallen for his own trap.

This week he was jailed for nearly six years for defrauding a property company and a mortgage lender out of more than £1.25m.

He had contacted police in May 2016 to report that a property he owned in North Acton had been sold without his knowledge or permission for £480,000.

But an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s complex fraud squad revealed Hussain himself had sold the property through an apparently legitimate process, and that the funds he received were from the company buying the premises.

3) Star manager goes all black hole

Guess which fund manager saw a stock take a massive hit this week?

If you guessed Neil Woodford, you were right but you win nothing because it was obvious.

Shares in FTSE 100 consumer lending firm Provident Financial dropped 75 per cent earlier this week, as the company announced a profit warning.

Provident Financial told the market this morning that it expects to lose between £80m and £120m this year and the chief executive resigned.

Provident Financial is the fourth largest holding in the £10bn CF Woodford Equity Income fund and the fifth largest holding in the £720m Woodford Income Focus fund.

After AA, AstraZeneca and Allied Minds, who wants to take bets on which one is next?

4) Brokers sent to Coventry by Coventry