UK: Weekly Tax Update - Monday 06 June 2011


1.1. The future relationship between tax agents and HMRC

HMRC has issued a consultation paper regarding the practical implementation of its strategy for engaging with tax agents in the future.


There is currently a lack of definition regarding the status of a tax agent and this came to the fore in the recent judicial review case of Christopher Lunn which followed HMRC's decision to prevent the agent from filing clients' tax returns electronically.

The HMRC Charter recognises that taxpayers have the right to appoint an agent, but there is no 'one size fits all' arrangement and agents range from the Big 4 accountancy firms to one man bands.

HMRC has dramatically changed the way that it deals with most taxpayers over the past decade. Whilst it now has specialist offices that deal with large corporates and a relatively small number of HNW individuals, it now relies on a call centre service for the vast majority of taxpayers who do not fit into either of those categories. The consultation paper recognises that there have been myriad complaints that those changes have been accompanied by poor levels of customer service.

A number of other countries regulate their tax agent community.

The proposals

The paper proposes two main areas for development:

  1. Self-serve

    • Self authorisation (the ability to notify HMRC that agent A is acting for client B without the need for HMRC to receive a signed authority). The authority would be retained by the agent for inspection in the same way as copies of signed Self Assessment returns are retained.
    • Ability to generate and amend notices of coding and manage end of year reconciliation for those outside of Self Assessment.
    • The facility to see payments and liabilities, across all heads of duty, for a single client in one presentation of the information.
    • Online education modules to augment professional training on legislation changes and processes.
    • Track and trace facilities for paper repayment claims and correspondence.
    • The ability to lodge correspondence and returns/forms that are not fully online via an electronic work area.

    Given the background referred to above, it clearly makes sense for agents to be able to use their time more efficiently by making changes directly rather than chasing an understaffed HMRC to do so. However this will require a re-engineering of the existing security processes.

  2. Targeting support to those agents that need it

    The research undertaken by HMRC illustrates how wide the agent community is, with a spectrum that ranges from global accountancy firms to unpaid volunteers. The consultation suggests that HMRC should concentrate on the "paid professionals". The plan is to use the statistical information available regarding the compliance performance of each agent's client base to identify firstly those agents who may need more support and secondly those agents whose behaviour was such that HMRC might decide to deregister them.


In theory this is a common-sense move that should produce a 'win, win' result for HMRC, the wider agent community and their clients.

As always the devil will be in the detail and it will be necessary to build in sufficient checks and balances that prevented an angry Inspector from deregistering an agent that he had taken a dislike to. It is to be hoped that any process for debarring agents would be administered by an independent body.

No matter how often agents complain that dealing with HMRC is not like dealing with the old local Tax Office ten years ago, the reality is that we are never going to return to that system of face to face personal service for the majority of taxpayers. Consequently a root and branch reassessment is required of how to improve customer service making better use of the existing system and resources.

It appears that HMRC has no appetite for acting as regulator for the tax agent profession, but nonetheless it sees the need to tighten up on those agents that it considers not to be doing the job properly.


2.1. Individual spending more than 183 days in UK claiming compassionate grounds

In the case of Nicholas Ogden (TC01077) the First Tier Tribunal dismissed the taxpayer's appeal against the 2002/3 assessment.

Mr Ogden has been resident in Jersey since 1988. In early 2002 his son was admitted to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for a heart and lung transplant which was the only option for his survival.

Mr Ogden was employed by WorldPay, which he had created, through its Jersey company and did not have any UK bank accounts. In 2001 RBS launched a hostile takeover bid to acquire WorldPay which the board was forced to accept in early 2002.

In August 2002 Mr Ogden took leave from WorldPay to be with his son at the hospital. In order to ascertain his tax position he telephoned the Cambridge tax office and was told that if he did not exceed ninety working days whilst in Cambridge his other days would fall under a compassionate visit dispensation.

His son died on 13 October 2002 and when Mr Ogden returned to work he was fired from his job for no apparent reason. RBS insisted that 22% was to be withheld from the payment although they had no legal right under the termination agreement to do so and the agreement stated that Mr Ogden was to be responsible for any tax that should be due.

HMRC opened an enquiry into the 2002/3 tax return based on the information provided to them by RBS. The tax return submitted showed Mr Ogden as resident but not ordinarily resident in the UK.

As Mr Ogden had spent more than 183 days in the UK, HMRC reached the conclusion that the Appellant was resident and ordinarily resident in the UK for the tax year ended 5 April 2003 and amended his tax return to include all the income he had received during the year including his termination payment.

Mr Ogden's agent appealed on the basis that the termination payment was in respect of the whole of Mr Ogden's service with WorldPay and therefore related partly to duties performed in Jersey and should be apportioned accordingly.

HMRC response was that for the year in question Mr Ogden was paid £772,707 (including the salary paid in lieu of notice, which was in its opinion contractual) in respect of his duties as a director of WorldPay. The duties were for the year in question when he was resident in the UK. As there were no overseas duties in that year the payment must have been in respect of duties performed in the UK and as he was an executive director of the company the duties could not be regarded as incidental duties. Section 336 of the Income and Corporation Act 1988 ("ICTA") states:

Temporary residents in the United Kingdom

  1. A person shall not be charged to income tax under Schedule D as a person residing in the United Kingdom, in respect of profits or gains received in respect of possessions or securities out of the United Kingdom, if—
    1. he is in the United Kingdom for some temporary purpose only and not with any view or intent of establishing his residence there, and
    2. he has not actually resided in the United Kingdom at one time or several times for a period equal in the whole to six months in any year of assessment, but if any such person resides in the United Kingdom for such a period he shall be so chargeable for that year.
  2. For the purposes of Cases I, II and III of Schedule E, a person who is in the United Kingdom for some temporary purpose only and not with the intention of establishing his residence there shall not be treated as resident in the United Kingdom if he has not in the aggregate spent at least six months in the United Kingdom in the year of assessment, but shall be treated as resident there if he has.

Section 19 of ICTA states that tax under Schedule E shall be charged in respect of any office or employment on emoluments therefrom which fall under one or more of the following cases:

"Case 1 - any emoluments for any year of assessment in which the person holding the office or employment is resident and ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, subject however to section 192 if the emoluments are foreign emoluments (within the meaning of that section) and to section 193 (1) if in the year of assessment concerned he performs the duties of the office wholly or partly outside the United Kingdom."

Leaflet IR 20 produced by HMRC stated at paragraph 1.2:

"You will always be resident if you are here for 183 days or more in the tax year. There are no exceptions to this."

Mr Ogden argued that exceptional circumstances applied in his case. The sole reason for him having breached the 183 days in the UK rule in the tax year ending 5 April 2003 was due to the ill health of his son. He did not understand why days spent in the UK for exceptional circumstances including compassionate grounds were taken into account in considering the 91 day rule but there was no such provision in respect of the 183 day rule.

HMRC submitted that the wording of Section 336 of ICTA however was clear and was mandatory. Whilst they had every sympathy with Mr Ogden the fact remained that he was in the UK for more than 183 days for the tax year ending 5 April 2003 and therefore the law deemed that he was resident in the UK for tax purposes.

The Tribunal found the Appellant was resident and ordinarily resident in the tax year ending 5 April 2003 and it was not possible to consider him resident but not ordinarily resident in the UK for that year as there were no duties performed outside the UK in that year. The Foreign Service Exception could not apply to the termination payment which was charged under Section 19 ICTA and not Section 148 ICTA.


3.1. IR35 Forum

An IR35 Forum has been established to make improvements in the way IR35 is administered. This was established following the Government's announcement at Budget 2011 that it was committed to making clear improvements in the way IR35 is administered following publication of the Office of Tax Simplification's (OTS) review of Small Business Tax.

The role of the IR35 Forum includes providing advice on improvements in the administration of IR35, and in a transparent manner to assist HMRC in identifying specific areas for improvement in the administration of IR35.

3.2. Capital Allowance consultations

HMRC issued three capital allowance consultations on 31 May 2011 on the following topics:

  1. Tightening of procedures around claiming allowances on fixtures.
  2. Changes to anti-avoidance rules for plant or machinery in CAA01 part 2 chapter 17.
  3. Reform of capital allowance on P&M that can also qualify for feed in tariffs (FITs) and renewable heat incentives (RHIs).

The consultations run until 31 August and the intention is that draft legislation for (a) and (b) will then be published for scrutiny and proposed inclusion in Finance Bill 2012. The intention for consultation (c) is that any changes will take effect for expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2012 for companies and 6 April 2012 for unincorporated businesses.

Considering the proposed changes noted below, businesses should be reviewing as a matter of urgency procedures to ensure that adequate capital allowance claims on fixtures are made before any claims become time-barred by reference to date of purchase. Those businesses with interests in plant or machinery associated with feed in tariffs and renewable heat incentives should also consider whether they have made all appropriate AIA, ECA and general plant or machinery pool claims before April 2012.

(a) Fixtures

The Government is concerned that the current process of settling the amount of expenditure on fixtures qualifying for capital allowances on a transaction involving buildings can be difficult for taxpayers and HMRC to track. While there are procedures permitting purchaser and vendor to elect to determine a tax value and a Tribunal procedure to determine an apportionment of market value, provided the business continues and the asset is owned and used in the business by the claimant, there is no time limit for claiming the allowances.

In a situation where the purchaser determines a capital allowance value for fixtures plant or machinery some years after original purchase, and no election has been made to agree the value between vendor and purchaser, there is a risk that the agreed figure could be higher than the disposal value accounted for in the vendor's tax computation. This becomes problematic for HMRC where the vendor has finalised their tax return for the period of the disposal, no longer exists or has gone into liquidation. It can also be problematic for HMRC seeking to verify that the value now claimed by the purchaser is a valid amount and not in excess of the purchaser's original cost.

The Government's proposal to improve matters and reduce exchequer risk is to:

  • Introduce a time limit for claiming capital allowances on fixtures. The time limit suggested is either one or two years from the date of acquisition. With respect to historic expenditure (i.e. fixtures expenditure already incurred at the date of change, but for which a claim for capital allowances has yet to be made) the Government is considering a transitional period of one or two years from the date of change of legislation for making any claims;
  • Formalise the tax aspects of fixtures on a property transaction so that in order to claim any available allowances there must always be a formal agreement on the attributable market value between purchaser and vendor. The proposal is that this will work in a similar way to a CAA01 s198 or s199 election with a deadline of two years from acquisition.

These measures seem sensible for formalising capital allowance tax procedures on a property transaction, though a two year deadline for claiming allowances would be preferable to a one year time limit.

Further consideration is given to reforming the s198 and s199 procedures for vendor and purchaser to determine a tax value for fixtures. There is concern that vendors are obtaining allowances when they no longer hold an asset and may be able to accelerate the obtaining of that deduction. Two options are considered for reform:

To limit the minimum value that can be agreed under a s198 or s199 election to the vendor's tax written down value; or

To refine the anti-avoidance in s197 so that it would be triggered in all circumstances where allowances on fixtures were accelerated by a balancing allowance.

Although no draft legislation has been put forward, the proposed refinement to s197 would seem preferable to a limit on the minimum tax value that can be agreed between vendor and purchaser. Indeed the text of the proposed refinement to s197 only appears to limit arrangements where an event resulting in a balancing allowance is triggered, so that it would remain possible for the vendor to retain the balance in the pool after disposal with the result that allowances continue to be taken according to the pool writing down allowance rate.

(b) Changes to chapter 17 anti-avoidance rules for plant or machinery

CAA01 part 2 Chapter 17 applies to sale, hire purchase or similar contracts, and assignments of hire purchase or similar contracts. It can apply where there is such a transaction between connected parties, or it is undertaken with the sole or main object of obtaining allowances, or under sale and leaseback arrangements.

To tighten this anti-avoidance four changes are proposed:

  • The 'sole or main benefit' test is to be replaced with a condition where the obtaining of the allowance appears to be the main or one of the main purposes of any person being a party to the arrangements. It is felt the 'sole or main' benefit condition does not catch transactions which also have a commercial benefit, as it is impossible to ignore the commercial benefit.
  • HMRC is concerned that some taxpayers consider 'assignment' of hire purchase transactions does not cover 'novation' and similar ways of transferring the benefit of a contract. To put the matter beyond doubt their proposal is to amend this to include all transactions where the person (B in CAA01 s213(c)) is able to benefit from a contract where the other person (S in CAA01 s213(c)) shall or may become the owner of the plant or machinery on performance of the contract.
  • The current legislation includes 'market value' as one of the options for determining the qualifying expenditure on which allowances are available (s218 (3)). It is thought that this could be manipulated so that allowances are obtained on the market value of plant or machinery, while the commercial value transferred has been reduced through the use of arrangements such as a lease and the sale of the resulting income stream. The proposed amendment is to adjust market value by requiring leases and other encumbrances affecting the asset to be taken into account.
  • There is an exception from the application of CAA01 s217, s218 and s225 for manufacturers and suppliers of plant or machinery (see s230). The proposal is to revoke s230 to protect the exchequer and level the playing field for suppliers in this area.

(c) Reform of allowance on P&M that can also qualify for feed in tariffs (FITs) and renewable heat incentives (RHIs)

Feed in tariffs (FITs) and Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI's) have and are being introduced to stimulate the use of small scale low carbon energy generation and heat generation from renewable sources. Tariff support levels for both schemes are designed to provide an attractive rate of return to investors.

Currently capital allowances at the rate of 100% may be available for business expenditure on equipment used for FIT and RHI projects, through qualifying for enhanced capital allowances or annual investment allowances. Also it is not always clear whether qualifying expenditure on plant or machinery for FIT and RHI projects qualifies for the general or special rate pool for capital allowance purposes.

The consultation document indicates the Government intended the FIT and RHI tariff levels should be set at rates providing incentive for investment, without the assumption that extra tax writing down allowances could be available through the 100% write offs or general pool rates of allowances. The proposals are therefore that expenditure incurred on or after 1 April or 6 April 2012, in respect of qualifying expenditure on plant or machinery for a FIT or RHI project will not attract enhanced capital allowance rates and will be 'special rate' expenditure (thus attracting an 8% annual writing down allowance rate and being unavailable for the annual investment allowance).

3.3. High Risk Tax Avoidance Schemes

On 31 May HMRC issued a consultation proposing refinements to the way certain tax avoidance arrangements are handled. The target is aggressive highly contrived tax avoidance schemes which HMRC do not believe work (viewed by HMRC as high risk). The proposals are:

  • To provide HMRC the power to 'list' particular avoidance schemes in a similar way to the current VAT scheme lists that affect businesses with turnover of £600k or more. Any new listing would be subject to affirmative resolution by parliament, and would cover schemes relating to income tax, CGT, corporation tax, SDLT, IHT, VAT and NIC. The intention is that the description of each listed scheme would be sufficiently narrow to only catch what HMRC perceive as 'high risk' schemes;
  • A requirement for users of 'listed' schemes to report the listed scheme number (LSN) of the scheme they have used, either when the tax return is submitted (or where no return is allegedly required, on a separate form to HMRC's Anti Avoidance Group), or within a period of time after implementation;
  • The imposition of a penalty in the case of non-disclosure of use of a listed scheme. This would be subject to reasonable excuse and HMRC's preference is for a fixed penalty rather than a tax geared penalty;
  • An additional charge where the taxpayer opts not to pay the tax in dispute with respect to the listed scheme by the normal due date. This is intended to ensure that users are not unfairly advantaged by the cashflow benefit of not having to pay tax upfront on a scheme which ultimately does not work, compared to those who do not use the scheme. It would be payable when the tax is finally confirmed as due.

HMRC indicate their current thinking is that LSNs would operate separately from scheme reference numbers (SRN's) under the DOTAS regime. They foresee that listed schemes may not be disclosable under DOTAS when marketed (and thus have no SRN), and HMRC may not be able to match a listed scheme with a scheme disclosed under DOTAS. In addition to responses on the main proposals, there is a request for ideas on how to avoid the taxpayer having to disclose both an SRN and an LSN. If HMRC foresee difficulty in linking SRNs to LSNs it is likely that taxpayers will have the same problem.

If HMRC views listed schemes as the greater problem (as for HMRC to list a scheme they must have received independent legal advice that the scheme does not work), then there must presumably be a greater need to learn of their use. Therefore one possibility might be to require the disclosure of an LSN where there is no corresponding SRN, and if there is no LSN, but an SRN, the SRN must be disclosed. If there is both an SRN and an LSN in relation to a scheme, both HMRC and the taxpayer should be aware of the link, and there is already an obligation to disclose use under the DOTAS regime. Thus whether the SRN or LSN should be disclosed would seem to be an internal matter for HMRC as to how they envisage collating information from their database systems. However there would seem to be little point in requiring disclosure of both the LSN and the SRN.

Following responses to the consultation, draft legislation is expected to be issued when Finance Bill 2012 is published in draft. Also included in this consultation (and on HMT's list of forthcoming consultations) is a note that in June HMRC will be undertaking an informal consultation on proposals for extending the DOTAS 'hallmarked' arrangements.


Investing in companies - tax incentives

Investing in smaller businesses can often be viewed as risky. But there can be significant tax incentives for investing in some companies, which help to mitigate economic risk. For those companies looking for alternatives to bank funding, the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and venture capital trusts (VCTs) are options well worth exploring. In relation to the EIS, tax relief is potentially available to owner-managers of businesses, as well as outside investors.

In this guide we examine the EIS and funding from VCTs, which can be an important source of financial support for smaller businesses.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Richard Mannion
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.