QROPS, Defeat for HMRC

21 Jun

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



  1. HMRC have always maintained that they do not approve QROPS schemes they merely recognise them if they say they obey the rules. in this particular case the judge allowed a previous Qrops case, concerning investors in Beasley where HMRC waived the tax due, to be admitted into evidence. This scuppered the HMRC case. However the judge seems not to share your view that HMRC have been good at making the rules clear and has asked for a definitive statement. Without it HMRC seem able to move the goalposts or close Qrops on technicalities Beasley the company secretary not born in Hong Kong, Rosiip no Singaporean members in scheme and could well set up an enormous number of mis selling claims at a later date.

    1. I agree HMRC have never said they approve schemes, but I feel it is unfair of HMRC to review a QROPS at length, then put it on their ‘recognised’ list, then later try to tax the scheme member. In my opinion, if the rules are broken the trustees should be fined. This the direction I believe HMRC are going now and I think that is correct.

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