Welcome to the autumn 2022 edition of our UK Tax Disputes Digest: a high-level summary for heads of tax, finance directors, general counsel and other in-house professionals of key developments in contentious tax over the last few months.
The UK tax landscape has gone through a period of considerable turbulence since our last (summer 2022) edition, with three fiscal events (in the form of the ill-fated "Growth Plan", the 17 October 2022 statement and the recent Autumn Statement), as well as the appointment of no fewer than three Chancellors of the Exchequer.
In light of the current economic circumstances, together with planned spending cuts and tax rises, there is now huge pressure to recover money through closing the tax gap. It came as no surprise, therefore, that the recent Autumn Statement announced a package of measures to tackle tax avoidance, evasion and wider non-compliance, including further investment in HMRC staff. We have already seen HMRC ramping up activity since the end of the pandemic and the latest announcements will inevitably see that trend accelerate further. Both individual and corporate taxpayers would be well-advised to check their tax position as soon as possible to prepare for any potential HMRC investigation into their tax affairs.
In this edition, we look at just a few of the areas in which HMRC are currently active, including a crackdown on R&D claims, a record increase in the number of football investigations, loan charge discovery assessments, and the latest series of HMRC nudge campaigns. We also cover a number of notable tax cases in the higher courts and other interesting procedural decisions, including a Court of Appeal decision that has important implications for the taxation of settlement payments.