UK: Weekly Tax Update - Monday 22 August 2011

Last Updated: 23 August 2011
Article by Richard Mannion

1. General news

1.1. Litigation & settlement strategy and alternative dispute resolution

HMRC has published draft guidance on its litigation & settlement strategy (LSS) and use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), for comment by 31 October 2011.

The ADR guidance refers to ADR in use for large and complex cases. Further guidance will be issued in due course for the use of ADR in smaller and non-complex cases.

The LSS guidance comments as follows:

The LSS encourages HMRC staff to:

  • Minimise the scope for disputes and seek non-confrontational solutions;
  • Base case selection and handling on what best closes the tax gap;
  • Resolve tax disputes consistently with HMRC's considered view of the law;
  • Subject to that, handle and resolve disputes cost effectively – based on the wider impact or value of cases across the tax system and across HMRC's customer base;
  • Ensure that the revenue flows potentially involved make any dispute worthwhile;
  • (in strong cases) settle for the full amount HMRC believes the Tribunal or Courts would determine, or otherwise litigate;
  • (in 'all or nothing' cases) not split the difference;
  • (in weak or non-worthwhile cases) concede rather than pursue.

The two key elements of HMRC's approach to tax disputes are:

i) supporting customers to get their tax right first time, so preventing a dispute arising in the first place; and

ii) resolving those disputes which do arise in a way which establishes the right tax due at the least cost to HMRC and to its customers, which in most cases will involve working collaboratively.

Resolving disputes 'cost effectively' does not mean HMRC making compromises on what it believes to be the right tax liability consistent with the law. It means securing the right tax liability consistent with the law, fairly and even-handedly across all taxpayers, in a way which minimises unnecessary costs. This means that the concept of cost-effective dispute resolution in this guidance may be different from the generally understood concept of cost-effective resolution of a purely commercial dispute.

The following factors are likely to be relevant to HMRC's consideration of what may or may not be 'cost effective' in relation to the resolution of a particular tax dispute:

  • The potential tax at stake in the current year(s), as well as any prior or future years, for that particular customer;
  • The potential tax at stake in any year(s) for other customers (including the wider impact of any HMRC intervention, such as through behavioural responses);
  • An assessment of the potential impact/ effort or cost/ benefit analysis of the different ways of taking forward the dispute (or not taking forward the dispute);
  • Strength of HMRC's view;
  • Overall assessment of whether taking a particular course of action (e.g. litigation) is likely to be a better use of HMRC's resources than taking forward other activity which might otherwise be undertaken.

2. Private Clients

2.1. Form 17 Declaration of beneficial interests in joint property and income

Following HMRC's update to its guidance on property held jointly by married couples or civil partners the form '17 - Declaration of beneficial interests in joint property and income' has also been updated.

The guidance and form both state that evidence of the beneficial interests in the property being unequal is required, for example a declaration or deed. Previously HMRC had asked for evidence only in the case of bank and building society interest. The evidence requirement now applies to declarations in respect of all types of property.

Income from property held jointly by married couples and civil partners is treated as beneficially owned by the individuals in equal shares (under ITA 2007 s836), subject to some exceptions (see below). This means that by default they are taxable on such income on a simple 50:50 basis and the rule applies even if the individuals own the property in unequal shares.

Where the actual division of ownership is different a joint election can be made for the income to be assessed based on their actual underlying beneficial interests. The different basis applying from the date of the election, which has to be filed with HMRC within 60 days, apply until such time as the asset is sold or there is a change in their interests.

The default 50:50 rule does not apply to:

  • income to which neither of the individuals is beneficially entitled;
  • partnership income (other than taxed investment income);
  • income arising from the commercial letting of furnished holiday accommodation; and
  • income from jointly held shares in a close company.

The relevant updates to HMRC manuals can be found in the Trusts, Settlements & Estates Manual (TSEM) at TSEM9000 to 9978 ( ).

Most of this guidance is brand new and has not featured previously in a HMRC manual. It covers the taxation of rental income, bank and building society interest and dividends. It provides legal background to the subject of ownership of property, and includes guidance on express and implied trusts. It also gives examples illustrating the principles of ownership and joint ownership in the context of taxation of income.

Part of the guidance in the section TSEM9800 to 9874 - property held jointly by married couples or civil partners - replaces and updates guidance in the Independent Taxation Manual (IN) at IN115-144. This will be withdrawn later this year along with the rest of the Independent Taxation manual. HMRC advise only TSEM9800 to 9874 should now be used.

2.2. HMRC guidance on the changes to the Furnished Holiday Lettings rules

HMRC has issued an advance version of a new Helpsheet (HS253) on furnished holiday lettings. It covers the changes to the rules for 2011/12 and for 2012/13 and following.

Note that references to Property Income Manual (PIM) guidance are to material that has not yet been included in the PIM but will be included by the time the Helpsheet has been published as part of the SA forms and guidance material for 2011-12.

3. Employment tax

3.1. NIC treatment of payments purportedly for mileage allowances

The Upper Tribunal has overturned the First Tier Tribunal's decision in Total People Ltd, holding that they had asked the wrong question and reached the wrong conclusion. Accordingly the Upper Tribunal has determined the payments were not of relevant motoring expenditure and they were accordingly emoluments of employment, liable for NICs (so Cheshire Employer and Skills Development Ltd, CESD's, claim for repayment of overpaid NICs failed).

The case concerned employees using their own cars for business motoring who were paid less than the full mileage allowance that could have been treated as exempt from NIC. The employees were paid a low mileage rate because they also received an annual car allowance paid in monthly instalments: at the time of payment of the car allowance, the employer had applied NIC. The employer had applied to HMRC for a repayment of NIC in respect of the part of the car allowance that represented the difference between the mileage rate paid and the statutory exempt rate (40 pence at the time).

At the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) HMRC argued that the car allowance represented earnings of the employment and that it did not bear the hallmarks of a contribution made by the employer towards the costs incurred by the employees in using their own cars for business motoring. In September 2010 the FTT determined that they had to decide whether the car allowances were additions to employees' salaries - in which case the correct NIC treatment had been applied by the employer - or paid as motoring expenses. The following factors led the FTT to decide that the lump sums were not additions to the employee's salaries:

  • the employer applied the combination of a low mileage rate and a lump sum car allowance to control costs for those employees whose duties involved them in substantial travel whereas other employees were permitted to claim the full statutory exempt mileage rate;
  • the car allowances were shown separately from salaries in the employees' contracts of employment; and;
  • the amounts of the car allowances were not increased at the same time or at the same rate as employees' salaries.

This last factor, the absence of a link between the increase in salary and the increase in motoring allowances, was given as the single most important influence on the FTT's decision and they allowed the taxpayer's appeal.

The Upper Tribunal saw no great difficulty in characterising the lump sums as payments in respect of motoring expenses. However, they held it was not enough that the payments represent, or are intended as, reimbursement of motoring expenditure; they must be of "relevant motoring expenditure" within the meaning of reg 22A(3), which in turn requires that the payment is a "mileage allowance payment" as defined by s 229(2) of ITEPA. The definition of a mileage allowance payment is "amounts ... paid to an employee for expenses related to the employee's use of ... a vehicle for business travel". The essence of the definition is clearly the link between the payment and the use of the vehicle.

In reviewing the FTT's decision the Upper Tribunal determined there was nothing in that decision which suggested the link between the payments and use of the vehicles was considered by the FTT. The managing director's explanation to the FTT of the car expense schemes indicated that the payments were made, not to defray the cost of use, but to defray the cost of acquisition or ownership. The sums paid bore no relation, save by chance, to the scale of use made by the employee of his car for CESDL's purposes. The Upper Tribunal's conclusion therefore was that the payments were not of relevant motoring expenditure but were accordingly emoluments of employment liable for NICs.

3.2. Disguised Remuneration - HMRC Guidance published

HMRC has published draft guidance on the 'Disguised Remuneration' legislation included in Section 26 and Schedule 2 of Finance Act 2011.

The final guidance will be included in due course in HMRC's Employment Income Manual (EIM). HMRC is of the view that any changes between the draft version and the EIM version are likely to be limited and directed primarily at including a few additional clarifications and examples, including some extra examples on some of the rules relating to retirement benefit arrangements.

Guidance on specific aspects of the legislation has been included in Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), published on the HMRC website. The most recent version of the FAQs was published on 5 July 2011. The issues covered by the FAQs have been included in the draft guidance, but are not separately listed as FAQs.

The EIM guidance does not cover changes to the rules for deductions in calculating the business income of the employer that were also included in Schedule 2 of Finance Act 2011. These will be reflected in changes to the Business Income Manual in Autumn 2011. Furthermore, the EIM guidance does not cover the National Insurance contributions (NICs) treatment of amounts chargeable to tax under the disguised remuneration legislation. Regulations will shortly be introduced to apply NICs to such amounts. Until the regulations come into force the NICs treatment of those amounts remains unchanged. The National Insurance Manual will be updated in due course.

3.3. Whether failing to untick the test return box on form P35 was a reasonable excuse

The First Tier Tribunal has considered the case of Writtle College Services Limited (TC01325). On 8 April 2010 the company submitted its form P35 to HMRC but the company was not aware that, in order to make a successful submission, it was necessary to "untick" the "test submission" box.

After sending the return, the company received the following email from the HMRC website:

"Successful receipt of online submission for Reference [ ]

Thank you for sending the PAYE End of Year submission online. The submission for reference [] was successfully received on 08-04- 2010. If this was a test submission, remember you still need to send your actual Employer Annual Return using the live transmission in order for it to be processed."

Since the company did not realise that they had submitted a test return, they assumed that their P35 had been filed.

The judge Anne Redston found that the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse for the late filing of the P35, saying:

"20. An excuse is likely to be reasonable where the taxpayer acts in the same way someone who seriously intends to honour their tax liabilities and obligations would act. Here, the company completed the online return in good time, and believed it had been successfully submitted.

21. On the evidence provided, the default position is that a P35 filing is treated as a test rather than a live submission. The company had to "untick" the test submission box before the P35 became a final and complete submission; it is clear that the company did not realise that the box needed to be "unticked".

22. HMRC have not provided any evidence to the Tribunal which shows that taxpayers were warned of the significance of this tick box, but rather the reverse: the email sent to the company was headed "successful receipt of online submission". In the Tribunal's view, this message could easily mislead taxpayers who had not noticed that they had to 'untick' a box in order successfully to file a return.

23. I find that it was reasonable for the company to have thought that the P35 had been filed correctly online; that its actions were those of "someone who seriously intends to honour their tax liabilities and obligations" and thus that it has a reasonable excuse for not filing the return by the due date.

24. Since the company did not learn of its mistake until the penalties were issued in September, I therefore find that there was a reasonable excuse throughout the period under appeal before this Tribunal, and I set aside the £400 penalty."

3.4. Penalty for late filing of employer's end of year P35 return and common law fairness

The first Tier Tribunal upheld an appeal against penalty notices issued to Walton Kiddiwinks Private Day Nursery (WKPDN) for late filing of their employer end of year P35 return. WKPDN appealed on the basis that they honestly thought that the P35 had been filed on time.

On the 27 September 2010 HMRC sent WKPDN a penalty notice in the sum of £400 on the basis that the appellant had failed to file its end of year employer's return, P35, by 19 May 2010. A further penalty notice was sent on the 20 October 2010 in the sum of £100 because, even though the first penalty notice acted as a reminder to WKPDN, it was sent too late to allow the appellant to avoid a penalty for a further one month.

The Tribunal considered the person alleging the default (HMRC) should bear the burden of proving the allegations made. The Tribunal also considered the taxpayer is entitled to rely upon the common law duty of a public body to act fairly not just in its decision-making process but also in administering its statutory powers. They were in no doubt that such a body does not act fairly when it deliberately desists from sending a penalty notice, for four months or more, knowing that the likely effect will be to impose a minimum penalty of £500 upon somebody whose sin may be nothing more than oversight or forgetfulness.

The Tribunal considered that the fact that the taxpayer had asserted the return had been filed timeously, put HMRC on notice that it would have to prove its allegation that the taxpayer had not. An assertion or allegation unsubstantiated by evidence is not self proving.

HMRC made the point that it is not under an obligation to remind a taxpayer of its obligation to file documents. It is true that it is under no obligation to do so, but the Tribunal considered that does not mean that good practice and conscionable conduct does not require it either (i) to send a reminder soon after 19 May in each year when it knows that a default has taken place or, more likely (ii) soon after 19 May each year to issue a £100 penalty notice which would levy the penalty then due and have the effect of acting as a reminder (whether or not intended to have that effect) before further monthly penalties are incurred. They were in no doubt that the computer system could easily be set to generate a single £100 penalty notice soon after 19 May in each year, and that such a course would be a fair manifestation of the State, acting in good conscience towards the citizens of the State.

The Tribunal held that where a person honestly and genuinely believes that a particular filing has taken place, but may nonetheless be incorrect, that state of mind can amount to a reasonable excuse until such time as he receives information demonstrating that that genuine and honest belief is in fact incorrect. The Tribunal were not given any reliable evidence by HMRC that such an excuse was incorrect. They concluded that even if the £100 penalty had been due, the fact that HMRC delayed sending out an initial penalty notice until after the time limit for levying an increased penalty had occurred, was unfair. The Tribunal therefore stuck out the whole £500 penalty.

4. Business tax

4.1. Financial future transactions, 'Ramsay' and the loan relationship 'unallowable purpose' test

This was a case examining a scheme entered into in 2001 and 2002 by companies in the Paul Rackham Limited group to avoid a corporation tax charge on the gain on disposal of a 50% share of its holding in an investment in Waste Recycling Group Ltd (WRG). If the scheme had worked as intended the group would have mitigated the whole of its gain on disposal of shares in WRG, and obtained interest relief for loans taken out as part of the scheme. HMRC contended that:

1) In the year of disposal of WRG shares, the financial futures entered into to generate a corresponding loss under TCGA s143 did not generate 'income profits or losses' and therefore were not within TCGA s143;

2) The future contract generating the loss corresponding to the gain on WRG shares should be viewed as part of a composite transaction with the gain realised on a future contract entered into at the same time (but which subsequently generated a gain broadly similar to the previous financial future loss) and Ramsay applied so that the loss could not be offset against the gain on WRG shares;

3) That the loss on disposal of shares in a subsidiary company (Quoform Ltd) used to undertake financial future transactions (broadly equal and opposite to the gain on WRG shares) was not an allowable loss under the Ramsay principal;

4) That the interest on the various loans taken out as part of the arrangements where not for an allowable purpose and therefore not deductible for corporation tax.

The appellant appealed to the First Tier Tribunal, and HMRC succeeded on points 3 and 4 in relation to loans taken out with respect to generating the loss on disposal of Quoform Ltd. The net effect of the scheme as a result of the Tribunal's decision is that the gain on sale of WRG shares (£8.6m) was covered by losses on financial future contracts. However Explainaway's loss on disposal of Quofrom was disallowed, and interest on a loan of £17.4m for the period 25 February 2002 to 24 June 2002 was disallowed. This left Explainaway and the group with a net taxable gain of £8.5m on options closed out in the year ended 31 December 2002. Pump Court Tax Chambers (acting for the taxpayer companies) have confirmed a notice of appeal has been lodged.

Other points to note before considering the scheme in more detail include:

  • TCGA92 s16A (restriction on allowable losses with a main or one of their main purposes as arrangements to secure a tax advantage) was introduced by FA2007 for transactions on or after 6 December 2006, which may affect the success of similar planning arrangements put in place now, to those undertaken in the Explainaway scheme.
  • For disposals of qualifying trading companies occurring on or after 1 April 2002 the substantial shareholdings exemption is available.

Background facts

In 2001 Paul Rackham Ltd (PRL, with a 31 December year end) considered selling 50% of its holding in Waste Recycling Group (WRG). As a result of discussions with advisers it set up a subsidiary (Explainaway Ltd) to effect the disposal. 50% of the holding in WRG was transferred to Explainaway for £9,700,000. This holding in WRG was then sold to a third party for £9,324,000 on 1 March 2001, generating a chargeable gain of £8,595,731.

Transactions in financial futures where then entered into on 17 July 2001 to both 'short' and 'long' movements in the 15 March 2002 FTSE index. The long contract was closed out on 6 September 2001, realising a loss of £8.7m. To lock in its position on the unrealised gain on the outstanding 'short' financial future the company entered into a further 'long financial future' contract on the 15 March 2002 FTSE 100 index. The intention was then to sell off Explainaway to a third party plc with losses that would cover the gain on the outstanding short contract. However as time progressed it became apparent that no agreement would be reached with the third party plc, so an alternative plan was considered and adopted.

The alternative plan involved putting Explainaway in a different position whereby it would only have to deal with a third party for the sale of a subsidiary containing a contract standing at a loss. As a result three subsidiaries of Explainaway were set up in November 2001, two private companies limited by shares (Quoform Ltd and Quartfed Limited) and one company limited by guarantee with no shares (Parastream). In January and February 2002 £17.4m was borrowed by Explainawy to subscribe for an equal amount of shares in Quoform and Quartfed.

In February 2002 Explainaway closed out its remaining future contracts realising a net gain of £8,543,320, and Quform, Quartfed and Parastream entered into further future contracts in relation to the 21 June 2002 FTSE 100 index. By 7 June 2002 Quoform's contract was standing at a loss of £8.6m. On that day Quoform's contract was novated in favour of Quartfed and transferred to Quartfed on payment by Quoform to Quartfed of £8.7m (the majority of the cost of its share capital). The tax disposal cost for Quoform (and tax acquisition cost for Quartfed) of this option contract, would have been the tax cost to Quoform (presumably the commission costs of entering into the contract).

The cash to close out the contract standing at a loss was transferred to Quartfed, so it would have been cash neutral taking on the contract. Quartfed and Parastream then closed out their option contracts (with a net nominal result for each company on closure). However, Quartfed would have received non-taxable cash from Quoform which it then paid up to Explainaway on 20 June as a dividend of £8.55m . Explainaway then became an unlimited company and on 21 June redeemed its share capital (held by Explainaway). Explainaway repaid on 20 June and 24 June the loan it had used to subscribe for shares in Quartfed and Quoform. Explainaway's holding in Quoform was then sold to a third party for £10, purportedly realising a capital loss of £8.865m.

Corporation Tax treatment of financial future transactions

If apart from what is now CTA09 s981 a gain arising on a financial future would otherwise be taxable for companies under CTA09 part 10 chapter 8 (income not otherwise charged), then it will be treated as giving a chargeable gain under TCGA s143. CTA09 s981 exempts gains on financial futures from corporation tax under the provisions of CTA09 part 10 chapter 8. A future is explicitly excluded from taxation under the derivative contract regime (CTA09 part 7) where it provides for cash settlement and does not provide for the delivery of property (although currency can be the subject matter of a future) - see CTA09 s581.

CTA09 s981 is the successor to ICTA s128 and referred to profits or gains of an income nature. SP 3/02 sets out HMRC's view of the boundary between what is considered as treading in financial futures (which would not attract TCGA s143 treatment) and what is not trading (which would attract TCGA s143 treatment), however it does not otherwise discuss what transaction would be included or excluded from TCGA s143.

Tribunal's reasoning as to why financial future transactions were of an income nature

The Tribunal agreed with the appellant that dealings in commodities and futures were annual profits assessable (at the time) under Sch D VI on the basis of Cooper v Stubbs (10 TC 29) and Townsend v Grundy (18 TC 140), and were not gambling transactions. In response to HMRC's argument that the transactions were not of an income nature the Tribunal commented:

In relation to this issue we are concerned only with the derivative transactions themselves. Those transactions it seems to us were real transactions of a nature commonly transacted in the market. There were no fiscal arrangements inherently and structurally built into the derivative transactions themselves. Any claim for a loss arose as a consequence of the result of those transactions, and was separate from them. In this connection it is in our view of no consequence that the derivative transactions were all in essence matched, nor that settlement was by way of set-off. We find that there is nothing in FA & AB Lupton [1972] AC 634 that could lead to the conclusion that profits and losses on the transactions were not of an income nature. Accordingly, and subject to the Ramsay argument to which we shall now turn, as those transactions were not trading transactions, the profits and losses were, but for s 128 ICTA, within Case VI of Schedule D, and as a result the derivatives fell within the scope of s 143 TCGA.

Tribunal's reasoning in relation to Ramsay as applied to the derivative transactions and the loss for Quoform

The Tribunal considered that as the original plan changed so that an alternative plan was adopted part way through, it was not possible to link the transactions of both plans together to consider the Ramsay principle. Considering the original plan (under which only the futures contracts made in July 2001 and September 2001 were entered into), it was their view that just because derivative contracts were entered into, one giving a gain, the other a loss where they had no commercial purpose, that could not be read as deeming them to be subject to the Ramsay principle so as to be seen as a similar pre-ordained series of transactions to be ignored. In their view the same analysis applied to the 2002 futures contracts. Therefore the futures contracts losses and gains were allowable.

However in relation to the loss purportedly realised by Explainaway on its holding in Quoform, the FTT considered the movement in the FTSE 100 index was part and parcel of the overall scheme, even though its result in terms of amount or timing of outcomes could not be predicted. The Tribunal found the prospect of the scheme not producing a loss as a result of movements in the FTSE 100 index was so remote that it could be disregarded. It followed that there was no practical likelihood that the shares in one of Quoform or Quartfed would be reduced in value. Despite the fact that no purchaser [for Quoform] had been identified at the outset, it was agreed there was a market for this type of transaction, and therefore little likelihood it would not go ahead. Thus the Quoform disposal could be viewed as indivisible from the other transactions which were part of the 'alternative' plan, and there was no difficulty (as in Craven v White) of treating those transactions as a single indivisible whole. They thus concluded that the loss on Quoform shares was not an allowable loss within the meaning of TCGA s2 purposively construed.

Tribunal's reasoning regarding the unallowable purpose for loan interest

The Tribunal considered the unallowable purpose test (previously FA96 Sch9 para 13, now CTA09 s442) in relation to interest on loans used to capitalise Quoform, Quartfed and Parastream. The unallowable purpose test applies so that where a tax avoidance purpose is a main purpose or one of the main purposes for entering into the loan relationship, this is not one of the company's business purposes, and accordingly the loan interest is disallowable. The appellant attempted to argue that the unallowable purpose test did not apply to capital transactions, but to income transactions. However the Tribunal construed the test purposively and while they considered that as they had found the gains and losses on derivative contracts were allowable they could not exclude all Explainaway's loan relationship debits. However as they had found the loss on disposal of Quoform shares was disallowable, the loan relationship debits in relation to that part of the scheme (the alternative plan) were unallowable.

A summary of the P&L movements relating to the gains and losses on options and company disposals, and cash movements on dividends and loans is as follows (excluding any loan interest entries and advisor/banking fees/costs of entering options):

4.2. Updated draft guidance on foreign branch exemption

Updated draft HMRC guidance on the new foreign branch exemption (22 July) from that issued on 20 May has been added. Additional guidance is provided on:

  • discussion of relevant day in relation to election for exemption;
  • calculation of exempt profits and losses Profits attributable to PEs for purposes of s42(2) TIOPA 2010;
  • capital Allowances :B. Mineral Extraction Allowances and other allowances;
  • newly acquired overseas business – 'Period of Grace' clearances;
  • exclusions relating to dual resident companies, air transport & shipping and small companies;
  • definitions;
  • new pages for the international manual to be:
  • INTM267180 - Non-residents trading in the UK: overseas permanent establishments of UK resident companies: overview and;
  • INTM267190 - Non-residents trading in the UK: overseas permanent establishments of UK resident companies: the capital allocation approach.

4.3. 11 new enterprise zones announced

At Budget the Government announced 11 Enterprise Zones in some of the country's largest cities, including Manchester, Birmingham, Merseyside and Newcastle, as well as inviting applications for 10 more in other areas. The strength of the applications from Local Enterprise Partnerships was such that Government has agreed to increase this invitation to 11. This brings the total to 22 Enterprise Zones across the country, helping to create (so the Government hopes) thousands of new jobs by 2015. The Zones will have simplified planning rules, super-fast broadband and over £150 million tax breaks for new businesses over the next 4 years.

The eleven new zones are:

  • Humber Estuary Renewable Energy Super Cluster;
  • Daresbury Science Campus, near Warrington and Runcorn;
  • Newquay AeroHub in Cornwall;
  • The Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus Airfield in Gosport;
  • MIRA Technology Park in Hinckley Leicestershire;
  • Rotherwas Enterprise Zone in Hereford;
  • Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent and Enterprise West Essex in Harlow;
  • Science Vale UK in Oxfordshire;
  • Northampton Waterside;
  • Alconbury Airfield, near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire; and
  • Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, and Lowestoft in Suffolk.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Richard Mannion
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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.