HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are one of the most powerful investigating bodies.
They have the power to open and conduct either a civil tax investigation or a criminal investigation where they suspect that tax or duty has been evaded or underpaid as the result of under-declaration(s) or that any other tax fraud has been committed.
Timothy Thompson of Kangs Solicitors explains what can be done if HMRC have decided on your tax liability, albeit as the result of initial calculations and representations, and you do not agree with their assessment.
This article is subsequent to Timothy Thompson’s assessment on tax investigations found at ‘https://www.kangssolicitors.co.uk/tax-investigations-by-hmrc-tax-investigation-solicitors/‘
Appealing the Decision | Kangs Tax Investigation Solicitors
If your dealings with HMRC, either directly or through your accountant, have resulted in an assessment that you disagree with, it is possible to appeal the same to a Tax Tribunal, known as the First Tier Tribunal (the FTT), within 30 days.
Accordingly, time is of the essence and it is essential that you seek expert advice immediately.
The FTT hears appeals against decisions made by HMRC in relation to the following:
- Income Tax
- PAYE tax
- Corporation Tax
- Capital Gains Tax
- National Insurance Contributions
- Statutory Sick Pay
- Statutory Maternity Pay
- Inheritance Tax
- Excise duty
- Customs duty
Do not underestimate the FTT | Kangs Tax Tribunal Experts
The FTT is a court of law where detailed and carefully prepared evidence supporting your assertions will need to be skilfully presented on your behalf to a Judge who will meticulously examine that evidence before announcing his decision.
Tribunals are completely independent of HMRC and the Judge will reach objective conclusions, on the balance of probabilities, having regard to all the circumstances presented to him.
Solicitor or Accountant? | Solicitors for Tax Tribunal Cases
If you are considering contacting an accountant or a solicitor regarding any HMRC Investigation, we would advise you to instruct a solicitor initially.
All information provided to a solicitor by a client is confidential and enjoys a special status called ‘legal professional privilege’ thereby providing a filter and barrier between each client and HMRC.
Detail provided to an accountant does not enjoy such privilege.
However, an accountant is more suitably qualified to advise you upon the actual financial assessment of the tax due and we would seek to instruct one of the specialist accountants with whom we have established trusted working relationships on your behalf.
The benefits of seeking legal representation | Tax Tribunal Specialists
Kangs Solicitors are highly regarded for meticulous case preparation and we ranked nationally in both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK for our work in this field.
Our aim and preference is normally to achieve an ‘out of court’ settlement with HMRC, thereby reducing the costs and stress to a client as far as possible.
However, we are always mindful of the possible need for a Tribunal Hearing and prepare any defence with that expectation.
Who at Kangs can help you | Our Tax Lawyers
If you wish to discuss any issue you have with HMRC or you just need an informal chat, please feel free to contact our team through any of the following: