Supreme Court rules on what is “deliberate”

In a decision restoring common sense, the Supreme Court in HMRC v Tooth has determined that for conduct to be culpable as deliberate there must (generally) be an "intention to mislead".  Less encouragingly (though not determinative in the case) the Court was not persuaded that a discovery could become stale, thereby preventing an otherwise "in time" discovery assessment from being made, for the purposes of the statutory framework relating to such assessments. Read more

What is “reasonable detail” when notifying a tax claim under an SPA?

In Dodika v ULGH [2021] EWCA Civ 638, the Court of Appeal considered whether the Defendant (buyer) complied with the requirement to give "reasonable detail" of the matter giving rise to a tax claim under the SPA when notifying that claim to the Claimants (sellers).  The tax claim arose in connection with an ongoing transfer pricing enquiry (conducted by the Slovenian tax authority) of which the sellers were already aware.  We consider the Court's decision (in favour of the buyer) in this blogpost. Read more

Danish WHT fraud claim dismissed

The High Court has dismissed a claim by the Danish tax authorities (against more than 100 defendants) that it was wrongly induced to refund more than £1bn of tax.  It did so based on the established principle that English courts will not enforce foreign revenue laws.  Unless reversed, the decision will cast doubt on the ability of other tax authorities to proceed with cum/ex fraud claims in the High Court. Read more

HMRC’s ability to argue fraudulent misrep hindered

In the latest round of litigation in HMRC's bid to avoid a settlement agreement with members of the GE group of companies, the Court of Appeal has refused HMRC permission to amend their case to seek the equitable rescission of the settlement agreement on the ground of fraudulent misrepresentation.  Although the decision offers some comfort to the taxpayers concerned, it serves as a reminder that taxpayers should approach settlement discussions with HMRC with care. Read more

Latest thinking from HMRC on offshore compliance

Within the framework of its "No Safe Havens" tax compliance strategy, HMRC has published two discussion papers concerning aspects of the administration of "offshore" or "international" tax.  You can read more about both papers in this blog post. Read more

No litigation privilege in advice from accountants on tax structure

In this post we consider the recent decision of the High Court in FRC v Frasers Group Plc, a case in which it was held that advice from accountants on a proposed new tax structure was not protected by litigation privilege, even if litigation over the relevant tax affairs was in reasonable contemplation at the time the advice was given. Read more

Mixed-use FinTech services not covered by the Investment Management Exemption

In BlackRock v HMRC (C-231/19), the CJEU held that management services provided by a financial technology services platform for the management of a mix of special investment funds and other investment funds could not benefit from the investment management exemption contained in Article 135(1)(g) of the Principal VAT Directive. Read more