Royal Bank of Canada: A common sense approach to tax treaty interpretation

In a judgment which represents a victory for common sense, the Court of Appeal has upheld the taxpayer's appeal relating to the interpretation of the UK-Canada double tax treaty.  The Court held that certain receipts fell within the scope of the "business profits" article of the treaty, rather than the "immovable property" article, and were therefore exclusively taxable in Canada.  HMRC contended that the payments were income from immovable property on the basis that they were consideration for the right to work oil deposits in the North Sea.  This was implausible because, as the Court recognised, the taxpayer had never had any right to work the relevant deposits, and instead had a right to receive payments calculated by reference to the value of oil extracted. 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

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

DAC 6 Reporting Deferred in the UK

The UK government has today announced that the first reporting deadline under DAC 6 will be deferred for 6 months to allow taxpayers and advisors impacted by COVID-19 additional time to comply with their obligations. The first reports under DAC 6 will now be due by 31 January 2021. Read more

HSF Trust Companies Survey – Tax Insights

We asked trust companies questions about the most significant risk and compliance issues they face. This blogpost, and accompanying podcast, consider the tax issues identified by respondents as most pressing. Read more

Rapid resolution of domicile disputes: be careful what you wish for

In Henkes v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 7645, the First-tier (Tax) Tribunal held that (a) it could (and would) determine the taxpayer’s domicile status when determining an application for the closure of a domicile enquiry and (b) its determination of that issue would be binding in any substantive appeal against a subsequent tax assessment. Read more