HMRC Disputes

mfg has for many years been at the forefront of disputes with HMRC concerning the applicability of Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief for Inheritance Tax purposes.  This is demonstrated by our involvement in the following reported cases:-

  • Golding [2011]
  • Antrobus I and II [2002]
  • Antrobus 2 [2008]
  • Williams v HMRC [2005]

HMRC have continued to resist claims for Agricultural Property Relief on the farmhouse particularly in the case of elderly farmers and such work is regularly referred to us by other firms of Solicitors, Accountants and land agents.  We have recently succeeded in winning two unreported cases where Agricultural Property Relief was being denied by HMRC, in one case on the farmhouse and in the other case on both the farmhouse and the land, achieving a very significant IHT saving for the estates concerned.

We are able to provide an early assessment of any farming situation which can prevent wasted costs being run up in trying to sustain untenable arguments against HMRC.  We have recently given such advice in relation to a Scottish estate.

Taxation law is rarely black and white and often HMRC will take a view that it is not necessarily correct.  For example, it may seek to apply the Antrobus case and limit the percentage of Agricultural Property Relief allowed on the farmhouse when there is no good reason for doing so eg where the farmhouse has always been the farmhouse for the holding, there is sufficient land for the farmhouse to be of a character appropriate to and there are farm buildings surrounding the house.

If you feel that HMRC has taken an unreasonable position in relation to a claim for Agricultural Property Relief or Business Property Relief, please contact us to see if we can assist.  It is very important that any potential problems with HMRC are addressed as soon as possible to avoid penalties being imposed, to ensure that unnecessary professional costs are not incurred and that the facts are reported to HMRC in the most positive and well argued way.