A court has ruled in favour of Sippchoice – a leading UK Sipp scheme operator – which had been accused of being used as aliberation vehicle by HM Revenue & Customs.
It was alleged that the company was enabling its customers to invest their funds in Imperium Enterprises and allowing them to then access their funds in the form of loans, prior to turning 55-years-old. Nevertheless, the court reached the decision that Sippchoice will not be forced to pay sanction charges.
HRMC had called for an income tax charge to be enforced – referred to as an unauthorised payments charge – on the majority of those involved in the scheme. However, it was stated that such a charge would be not be “just and reasonable” by Sippchoice and its defence, after which the firm was allowed to appeal.
Ultimately, the Upper Tribunal charge dismissed HMRC’s charge and upheld the decision of the initial tribunal, much to the relief of those at Sippchoice.
“Though fact sensitive, this decision will be welcomed by pension administrators and provides helpful guidance on the boundaries of what the tribunals will consider to be reasonable conduct on the part of pension administrators when discharging their duties,” commented RPC legal director Robert Waterson.
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