The conviction of an accountant for fraud and theft from his employer was safe despite the judge’s less than adequate summing up, which had failed to refer to the effect of the successful cross-examination of the prosecution’s expert witness.
The Revenue’s approach towards the treatment and isolation of material potentially attracting legal professional privilege, as produced by taxpayers’ accountants pursuant to a lawfully obtained production order for the purposes of an investigation into suspected VAT fraud, had not demonstrated any illegality. It was not arguably unlawful for anyone employed within the Revenue to see documents claimed to attract legal professional privilege.
In the circumstances it was not an abuse of process for the ICAEW to prefer a second disciplinary complaint against an accountant after a previous complaint had failed on an evidential technicality.
When an appeal raised an issue of the correct calculation of turnover for the purposes of VAT, the primary task of the VAT and duties tribunal was to find the correct amount of tax so far as possible on the material properly available to it and in the absence of any provision to the contrary the burden of proof lay on the appellant. The European Convention on Human Rights 1950 did not require the use of PACE procedures in the VAT evasion regime even though the latter was in Convention terms a criminal process.
There was nothing unusual about the facts of the claimant’s case for damages arising out of a personal injury claim and, accordingly, the discount rate to be applied when assessing the future pecuniary losses was 2.5 per cent as set out by the Lord Chancellor in the Damages (Personal Injury) Order 2001 SI 2001/2301.