Tax enquiries - closure rules response


13 March 2015

ICAS issues its response to the HMRC consultation on Tax Enquiries – Closure Rules.

ICAS response to Tax Enquires - Closure Rules


ICAS has submitted its response to the HMRC consultationon Tax Enquiries – Closure Rules. The proposals in the consultation paper are designed to give HMRC the power to refer a single issue to the Tax Tribunal to achieve resolution in complex multi-issue tax enquiries.

This is in cases where HMRC believes matters are taking too long to settle, involve elements of avoidance, and where there is a significant sum of tax at stake.

ICAS said it is understandable that a mechanism is being sought in such instances. However, members have expressed reservations about the limiting of the circumstances in which this will be used. The view has also been expressed that the proposal is one sided as only HMRC will be able to follow the proposed course of action

There are occasions when the taxpayer may wish to take a single issue to the tribunal and this should be provided for in the proposed scheme to ensure equitable treatment of both parties in an unresolved enquiry case.

ICAS also noted that there are a number of current consultations covering overlapping areas of the UK's taxation system: this consultation; the current consultation on 'Strengthening sanctions for tax avoidance', and the Discussion Document on HMRC penalties. A coherent approach must be adopted in these areas rather than a piecemeal review of particular issues.

ICAS has suggested that a roadmap approach to addressing taxpayer compliance would be preferable and would bring all of these strands together under a coherent framework.


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