The recent decision of the First-tier Tax Tribunal (‘FTT’) in James Albert McLaughlin v The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, is a timely reminder that taxpayers are perfectly entitled to organise their affairs so that the minimum amount of tax is paid.
In December of last year, two differently constituted panels of the Court of Appeal handed down important judgments on the discovery provisions contained in sections 29 and 30B Taxes Management Act 1970 (‘TMA 1970).
HMRC announced last week that they will shortly be writing to UK resident individuals and organisations holding bank accounts with HSBC in Geneva, using information obtained under a tax treaty last year.
Following his first outing before the House of Commons’ Treasury Select Committee in March, and the publication of the Committee’s report in July (see my previous post), Dave Hartnett, the Permanent Secretary for Tax, returned on 12 September to answer further questions from MPs. I have picked out a couple of highlights below which are worthy of comment.
Having been first announced in the March 2010 Budget and following a pilot, the mortgage verification scheme, a joint venture between HMRC, the Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association, was finally launched at the start of the month.
The SFO warned last week that companies suspected of paying bribes to win work overseas may be forced to hand over their tax records, in the hope that these may yield evidence of such bribes.
Concern has been building for some time amongst taxpayers and their advisers about HMRC’s apparently unfettered use of discovery assessments.
The House of Commons’ Treasury Select Committee (the “Committee”) recently released its report entitled “Administration and effectiveness of HM Revenue and Customs” (the “Report”).
Retrospective legislation is a particularly hot topic at the moment.
On 20 July 2011, HMRC published a discussion document entitled: Civil Investigation of Fraud Contractual Disclosure Facility. HMRC are seeking comments on proposed changes to their Civil Investigation of Fraud procedure, which is set out in Code of Practice 9.