Estoppel by convention and notices of enquiry

In Tinkler v HMRC [2021] UKSC 39, HMRC had not validly served a notice of enquiry on the taxpayer. However, the Supreme Court held that the taxpayer was prevented from relying on this fact (in order to dispose of a tax dispute) as a result of the operation of the doctrine of estoppel by convention. This was principally because the taxpayer and his advisers had, for a long period of time, corresponded with HMRC on the assumption that the notice of enquiry had been validly issued. Read more

Supreme Court provides guidance on Follower Notices

In R (Haworth) v HMRC, the Supreme Court has provided welcome guidance in relation to the follower notice regime, confirming that a notice may be issued only where HMRC believes that there is "no scope for a reasonable person to disagree that the earlier ruling denies the taxpayer the [relevant tax] advantage".  It presents HMRC with a high bar, but one that is justified given the draconian nature of the regime. Read more

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

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