Tax is a more contentious issue today than it has been for years. The payment, or non-payment, of tax has been described as a moral issue, making what should be a simple question of compliance with tax law, into a much more complex area carrying potentially heavy reputational risks in addition to the penalties one might usually face.
In recent years the government has built up HMRC's powers to investigate, penalise and secure disputed tax sums, and many of these new powers are coming into effect now.
Among the most powerful are the accelerated payment notices, which HMRC can issue where tax is in dispute. These allow the Revenue to demand payment of the disputed sum in advance of the dispute actually being heard by a tax tribunal. In some cases HMRC can also take tax owed directly from an individual's bank account, without seeking their consent.
What's more, HMRC has been tasked with pursuing investors in tax avoidance schemes, and we have seen a number of high profile individuals very publically named and shamed in a deliberate tactic to discourage usage of these schemes. In most cases these schemes are legal, but have now entered a grey area of public acceptability.
How can we help
If you are concerned about your own or your business's tax position or have received notification of an HMRC inquiry, time is of the essence and we recommend you to get in touch as soon as possible.
We can provide you with solutions, including advice on investigations, negotiations and the most appropriate course of action. We work with our commercial litigation team if there is the possibility of launching litigation for damages against advisors or scheme promoters. We also work very closely with our media & reputation team to resolve any adverse privacy concerns.
Who do we work with?
We are assembling a group action to advise taxpayers who have been miss-sold investments in marketed tax avoidance schemes, and to help them recover some of their losses through action against financial advisors and other intermediaries. For further information, please visit www.witherstaxcase.co.uk or click the button below.
We advise high profile individuals, international families, trustees as well as financial institutions. We have seen a significant increase in HMRC enquiries into clients' non domicile status and remittance issues as well as enquiries arising from the theft of data from non-UK banks.
We also have considerable experience in helping clients who wish to come forward and make a voluntary disclosure of unpaid taxes while ensuring that the process is handled safely, confidentially and with full protection from a criminal investigation. We often work with leading accountancy firms in various forms of enquiry to minimise the client's risk of prosecution and the amount of tax properly payable.