Tax disputes are different from other types of disagreement because once you are in dispute with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or a foreign tax authority you are dealing with organisations that not only operate without the normal commercial cost constraints but have also effectively written their own rulebooks. The tax authorities also have very wide powers to enter and search premises, and can seize stock, computers and so on.
Furthermore, where additional tax is due as a result of neglect or evasion, there may be tax-geared penalties plus interest payable in addition to the tax assessed.
There is no doubt that an investigation by HMRC can be both unpleasant and time consuming. HMRC are increasingly threatening criminal proceedings against taxpayers, and their use of 'hit squads' to target certain types of industry can lead to enquiries being raised on the flimsiest of evidence.
That does not, of course, mean that HMRC are always right. Nor does it mean that their claims for tax are not able to be contested successfully – HMRC lose a fairly large proportion of the cases they bring to court.
Tax disputes are normally settled after a great deal of negotiation, and it is important to have access to expert assistance in order to achieve the best possible resolution.
If you receive a notice of a tax enquiry – especially if it contains a reference to 'Code of Practice 9' (which indicates that tax fraud is suspected), get in touch with us straight away.
Tax disputes vary one from another and a 'generic' approach is never optimal.
Selachii are experienced in dealing with all sorts of tax disputes and skilled at achieving beneficial outcomes for our clients.
When HMRC refused a claim for losses on shares which had been acquired under a common employee share scheme and sold some years later, on the ground that the guidance they had issued before the shares were purchased had been withdrawn before they were sold, HMRC claimed that the guidance was 'merely an informal expression of their understanding of the law at the relevant time'. Strong representations to the Court led to a resounding defeat for HMRC and acceptance that the relief of the losses was due.
How Selachii Can Help
As a dynamic litigation law firm based in Kensington, London, we put the best interests of our clients at the heart of everything we do. We work with both businesses and private individuals, giving them legal advice and support which is unique to them and their situation.