HMRC enquiries: To pay or not to pay

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HMRC is adopting an increasingly aggressive approach to taxpayers who choose to dispute a case involving perceived tax avoidance, explain Kate Ison and Aude Delechat of Berwin Leighton Paisner.

It is estimated that there are currently more than 65,000 open cases involving marketed tax avoidance, many of which date back over four years.

In a number of recent consultation papers, HMRC has proposed a range of controversial measures which will give HMRC power to require a taxpayer to pay disputed tax when HMRC has won another case involving similar facts. However, the power goes beyond simply requiring payment pending the outcome of an appeal. Taxpayers will effectively be forced to concede and accept HMRC’s application of the prior case, with very limited possibility to object or they will face heavy tax-geared penalties if they continue to pursue the dispute.

The measures are intended to make it less...

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10th Mar 2014 17:51

Surely anything that reduces use of avoidance schemes is to be applauded.?

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12th Mar 2014 09:39

String 'em up

the_Poacher wrote:
Surely anything that reduces use of avoidance schemes is to be applauded.?


So presumably you would support summary execution of a tax avoider on the whim of a tax official? Wow!

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11th Mar 2014 07:06

Errrr........and what would your opinion be if HMRC unilaterally decided that some decent tax planning that you (or your client) did was infact anti-avoidance?

If it wasn't for the above then yes I would largely agree, but you fall into the trap of forgetting about some of the innocent people that get caught up in the sledge hammer used by HMRC.

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12th Mar 2014 07:50

And also

Now let us think about the consequences if we combine this with proposed retrospection. Draconian doesn't even begin to cover it!

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