Sale of a Biz for Goodwill
Written on 04/04/2019

Sale of IFA Goodwill could qualify for entrepreneurs’ CGT relief

The First-tier Tribunal in Richard Villar v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0117 (TC) has recently been published. 

This considered the tax implications of a sale of goodwill by a professional person.

Mr. Villar sold his medical practice client bank to Spire Healthcare Diagnostics Limited for £1 million.  On his tax return, Mr. Villar reported the sale as a capital gain.  This meant he gained entrepreneurs’ relief, and so he paid capital gains tax of just £80k.

HMRC argued that it wasn’t a sale of a business, and that Mr. Villar should have paid income tax on what was an advance payment for his future professional services  - namely introducing his clients.

Being a sole trader means you cannot separate out easily the business from the individual.  So you could – like the HMRC - argue you don’t have a business to sell.  All you can do is introduce goodwill, and that is assessible to income tax at 40% not entrepreneurs relief under CGT at 10%. 

HMRC levied a charge on Mr. Villar and hit him with a bill of more than £800,000, for income tax plus penalties.

The Tribunal disagreed.  They said the sale by Mr. Villar was a sale of his business and that the amount received was capital, subject to CGT.  

You do not want to face the vagaries and uncertainties of a Tribunal over what could be the biggest financial event in your life. 

IFAC say limit your liability and create a going concern. 

(A free service to members.)

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