High Expectations? – HMRC Advice Lines

A very recent First Tier Tribunal decision was held in favour of a taxpayer, Mr Noor.

Mr Noor called HMRC’s National VAT helpline to take advice about construction costs.

He followed the advice given, but on his claim for a repayment of input tax HMRC denied a chunk of money under the rules about time limits for claims.

Mr Noor claimed that after taking the advice over the phone his expectation was that he would be able to claim all the VAT back if he followed the guidance suggested, which he did.

 In a very interesting decision HMRC believed Mr Noor in relation to the phone conversation, even though no written confirmation of the advice line’s comments was obtained.  They also held that he would have taken a different course of action if he hadn’t received the comments on the phone.

It was found that HMRC were due to pay the full amount of VAT back to Mr Noor.

Perhaps the life of the Advice Line is limited!