QROPS, Defeat for HMRC
HMRC was forced to concede a humiliating defeat today as it made an application to withdraw its case against a group of investors in the QROPS who had challenged HMRC’s earlier decision to de list the scheme and seek charges of up to 55% on their pensions.
This is clearly a victory for common sense. How can HMRC list a scheme as authorised, the public invest, then HMRC de-list and attempt to tax.
At the Royal Courts of Justice this morning, following four days of proceedings, the barrister representing the Revenue informed the judge presiding over the judicial hearing that her clients were to immediately withdraw all “assessments to tax” which had been sent to the investors seeking the charges and that it wished to withdraw completely from the hearing.
It was also agreed, in a highly unusual step, that HMRC would pay all costs on an indemnity basis.
We have long said that HMRC needed to be clear on its exact position on Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes. Now HMRC have be given 21 days to make a clear statement on QROPS.
People living abroad have a right in my opinion to transfer their pensions to another country. As long as they don’t seek to ‘bust’ the pension then they should be allowed to move their money to the country of their choice.
HMRC has done an excellent job in recent years in making the current rules clear. We believe as a company that although this ruling is against HMRC it gives further clarification to QROPS and their benefits.
Nigel Green deVere Group
Blog written 21st June