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Talent Resource Management EBT Scheme

For people who used The "Talent Resource Management" scheme and have either recently received the class of 08/09 invite or are already under the kosh due to an existing COP8 enquiry.

CUK Contractors Respond:
So has everyone sent their letters of disagreement?

I haven't actually had mine yet. I'm sure it's coming as others at my work have had theirs. Those that I know about have had the standard response from Tax Talk UK and have sent back the three-liner. If/when mine turns up I'll do the same.

I've been checking my SA online account and have not had anything show up there yet. I'm guessing it will appear there first.

Letter template:
I wish to appeal against the 2008/09 Assessment recently issued.

I disagree that the amount assessed constitutes taxable income and I do not agree the figure issued.

I wish to apply for a full postponement of the tax demanded pending further clarification.

CUK Contractors Respond:
Received the 08/09 letter and Special Civil Investigations letters previously for prior years. Engaged Gilberts Tax a long time ago. Still sitting waiting/fighting it out.

CUK Contractors Respond:
For a number of years, I have been dealing with HMRC investigations for contractors who were employed by Talent and have more than 30 ongoing cases.

Talent now operate as Raingold or Futurelink and have set-up a new company to provide tax advice although they do not seem to know very much about Talent as it was before their time.

As Talent was not an EBT scheme (and changed in November 2007 from dividends to loans), it presents a particular challenge for HMRC.

Last year, I was in discussions with HMRC Special Investigations Office about a possible voluntary settlement opportunity for ex-employees but no further progress has been made. A test case could be heard late this year or 2014.

HMRC are likely to attack the scheme under S739 ICTA 1988.

I am in contact with the liquidator of Talent and believe that HMRC now have details of all employees. They are currently in the process of looking at those they missed before (in particular those who joined after 5 April 2007).

I act for many clients that went on to Cherrylon Marketing Limited from 1 April 2009 up to December 2010 (in some cases) and some of those have a further investigation into that employment.

At the same time, some of the ex-Talent people have HMRC enquiries for Sanzar, Darwinpay, AM Limited, etc where they went after Talent although others have heard nothing.

This is a complex area of tax practice but I would be pleased to help out if I can on the forum.

CUK Contractors Respond:
I have heard the name Gilbert's on a number of occasions regarding g TRM clients.

Are they any good and what have they achieved for you since you engaged them? I.e. why are you still waiting, have Gilbert's not resolved this with HMRC for you?

I am enquiring with a view to engage someone but not decided yet so any advice on Gilbert's would be appreciated.

P.s. when you look up their address on Google maps, it comes up with a house on a lane in Leeds!

CUK Contractors Respond:
It was impossible to guage how much would be written about a simple appeal application.

I have provided over 30 templates to contractors and it would have been less time consuming just to post the suggested reply to HMRC on the forum. However, there was an issue about non-disclosure and professional liability.

I have taken legal advice on this matter and now produce my SUGGESTED reply to HMRC on the understanding that it may not suit all cases and that I accept no financial or professional responsibility for reliance placed on it.


Assessments are still being issued by HMRC and the latest one I have seen was dated 20 February.

Here is the text of the reply:


Your ref:
NI number:

HM Revenue & Customs
Local Compliance
Personal & CGT Compliance
Chailey House
Cardington Road
Bedford MK42 0YS

For the attention of Miss L J Stopp

Dear Madam,


I acknowledge receipt of your letter dated xx February 2013, a notice of assessment and tax calculation for 2008/09.

Please take this letter as my formal notice of appeal against the assessment.

I apply to postpone the further tax charged of £xxxxx on the ground that no additional taxable income has been agreed.

Kindly acknowledge receipt.

Yours faithfully,


CUK Contractors Respond:
Another one here, with a letter to appeal. Does anyone know if the TRM scheme was one known to the HMRC via DOTAS, and was issued with a reference number?

CUK Contractors Respond:
Yes it was registered with a DOTAS number. All the schemes users currently being investigated where using schemes with a DOTAS number.

Any idea what the number is? If so, could you let me know please?

CUK Contractors Respond:
No I don't have the scheme DOTAS number. You should be able to retrieve this from your self assessment.

CUK Contractors Respond:
So with a DOTAS number, presumably there is strong reasoning that Discovery assessments are invalid / unlawful, since HMRC were aware of the scheme?

CUK Contractors Respond:
That is a dangerous assumption which I would get confirmed by a tax specialist as opposed to an online forum.

CUK Contractors Respond:
I only received my letter yesterday but will be sending out my appeal letter based on Michael's template as soon as. will keep you guys updated if any new info comes to light.

CUK Contractors Respond:
If the individual doesn't have a DOTAS number and did not put it on their tax return then clearly HMRC would have a discovery if they didn't raise and enquiry within the appropriate enquiry windows.

Equally however the presence of a DOTAS number would not necessarily preclude HMRC making a discovery if the return did not mention tax relevant matters. However you would also need to consider the recent Upper Tribunal case of CRC v Charlton, Corfield & another [2012] UK FTT 770 where the Upper Tribunal found against HMRC and confirmed, for different reasons, (i.e. not the presence of a DOTAS number) the decision of the First-tier Tribunal that HMRC were not entitled to make discovery assessments under section 29 (discovery provisions).

We might of course expect HMRC to seek to appeal that decision - but time will tell

CUK Contractors Respond:
I have never been asked to fill in a tax return since I started working, but they still came up with a figure to levy against me. Does anyone know if there is any group action being formed or is in place to finance the battle ahead ?

CUK Contractors Respond:
add me to growing list of people who have received 08/09 assessment notice under discovery. appeal sent today.

CUK Contractors Respond:
And a Self Assessment Statement tonight, which declares the assessment to which this week's discovery assessment letter referred, is dated 31 Jan 10 - and that therefore an additional interest charge of almost 10% of the sum assessed by the week's earlier letter is due (on top of the sum assessed as due on alleged income, of course).

The Statement gives no details as to how to dispute the interest charge, which I would like to do on at least the grounds that:

a. I have appealed the validity of the assessment of liability on which the interest is showing as owed
b. That it is plainly ludicrous to assert that any such assessment was made in Jan 10, unless it was made by HMRC and "kept secret" for three years

Should I at least write to point out that I have already appealed the original assessment?

CUK Contractors Respond:
Got my letter in, dated 28th Feb, not had any dealings with of this sort with HMRC before + never had to do a self assessment or anything like that.

I've been checking HMRC Online to see if anything appears. Well this morning a new entry for 08/09 was added with interest and an amount. I guess I'll wait for the letter

I'm hearing rumours of a 'test' case going to Tribunal in May. Does anyone know anything about it?

I'm guessing it will impact all users of the TRM scheme as the ruling will work in one party's favour.

CUK Contractors Respond:
These forthcoming hearings are not publicised (until the hearing outcome is reported) and I was informed by Specialist Investigations office last year that there are cases to be heard both in 2013 and 2014. Particular information might come from the individuals concerned and professional advisers are unable to give any information here due to ethical considerations.

HMRC have stated that they will try to recover duties either by voluntary settlement or litigation where appropriate.

CUK Contractors Respond:
Has advised me to appeal right away. look forward to updates :-)


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