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https://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/opinion/john-hood

Interesting article...

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Thought this must be of interest...

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By Justin Bryant
02nd Aug 2021 12:26

That is indeed interesting and I would have thought it would be the other way round re the 76% figure. Thanks.

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By Hugo Fair
02nd Aug 2021 13:08

Can HMRC's reputation fall any further?
Once upon a time the default response to the result of a tax enquiry was "better not poke a stick in the wasp nest" (as they were likely to be right, so why annoy them)!
Now the default would appear to be that you might as well ask for the decision to be reviewed (as HMRC will turn out to have got it wrong in 3 out of 4 cases)!
My only disagreement with the article is that I think this results from incompetence (by poorly trained staff) not a deliberate policy ... but that's not really any comfort.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Tax Dragon
02nd Aug 2021 16:16

Yet I agree with Justin. It shows the reviews are not just rubber-stamping. That's to HMRC's credit, IMHO.

And would it change your opinion if you were told that review officers cold-reviewed 50,000 other cases that the taxpayer had conceded without review and found that HMRC had been correct in 95% of those cases?

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Hugo Fair
02nd Aug 2021 17:13

Despite my frequent (and I believe justified) attacks on areas of incompetence displayed by HMRC, I'm not automatically agin them on every occasion (and have worked closely with them when I detect a willingness to be receptive to criticism).
So, yes indeed, the independence shown by reviewers is entirely to their credit.

And, yes, I'd be fascinated to know the results if "review officers cold-reviewed 50,000 other cases that the taxpayer had conceded without review" ... that thought had occurred to me from the perspective of statistical bias.
I'm not sure that it would "change my opinion", but might ameliorate the tone of my earlier post - especially if the results were as you posit (although I doubt that).

My intended 'message' (possibly lost in a rushed post before going out) was not about quantifiable rightness/wrongness being performed by HMRC, but the apparently inexorable erosion of their reputation as perceived by the general population (which as any public figure will tell you is easy to lose but hard to regain)!

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By Paul Crowley
02nd Aug 2021 17:18

But there is a difference between a case being challenged and one that is not being challenged
The former means that the case could end up at tribunal and the decision should be tribunal proof
The latter has no risk to HMRC.
Otherwise it indicates that tax payers really know their stuff

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Tax Dragon
02nd Aug 2021 17:37

Good point well made.

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By Paul Crowley
02nd Aug 2021 13:40

Higher percentage than I would have expected.
I regularly comment that HMRC cannot be relied upon to understand the tax law, just their interpretation of the law
But that fixes in my mind what I already look to do. Challenge all but the most hopeless case.
Trouble with that view is that FTT often accept what I would think as hopeless appeals

The real issue I come across is that clients genuinely believe HMRC knows best.

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