We acted for a client who had been served with both a follower notice (FN) and an accelerated payment notice (APN) in relation to a failed tax planning scheme involving a gilt strip. HMRC had determined that the scheme did not work and opened an investigation into the client’s connected company. We made detailed, persuasive representations in response to the FN and APN which led to HMRC withdrawing both of them. Following the representations, HMRC also made amendments to the client’s Self-Assessment return which actually resulted in a tax refund.
Our expertise and understanding of HMRC processes enabled us to:
successfully argue that the process by which HMRC investigated the client’s connected company and then raised the notices was ultra vires;
spot that HMRC’s calculations of the amount of the tax liability were incorrect; and
make representations that HMRC best practices were not followed in the issuance of the notices.
This combination of factors enabled the client to avoid a huge tax bill and receive a refund.
As 2020 passed the baton to 2021, any optimism we may have been harbouring about a gradual return to normality, as the vaccination programme began its rollout, was badly dented by another lockdown and the inevitable economic disruption that entails.
Generally speaking, courts take robust approach to adjudicators' decisions and tend to rubber stamp the vast majority when a successful party in an adjudication applies for a court order validating the adjudicator’s decision.