'Confrontational' tax disputes up 20%

Many taxpayers in dispute with HM Revenue & Customs say the experience is still much more confrontational than it is consensual, contrary to its new push to quickly reach an outcome that is fair to both parties.

Despite extending the Alternative Dispute Resolution service to all SMEs and individuals, lawyers at Pinsent Masons said HMRC must do more than just make a single policy change if it is to really “change things on the ground.”

The law firm was responding to new data showing that disputes between HMRC and taxpayers heard by the tax tribunals jumped 20% in the 12 months of last year.

In fact, new tribunal cases between the Revenue and taxpayers surged from 9,100 in 2010 to 11,000 in 2011, “indicative of the pressure HMRC has been under to clamp down on tax avoidance.” Betwinner ist ein Online-Wettunternehmen mit Ursprung in Zypern, das jedoch europaweit tätig ist. Obwohl es erst vor kurzem im Vergleich zu anderen Online-Wettunternehmen begonnen hat, hat dieser Buchmacher gezeigt, dass es viel zu bieten hat. Betwinner verfügt nicht nur über eine reaktive Site, sondern bietet auch eine kostenlose BetWinner App auf die sich der heutige Tag konzentrieren wird, wie in der folgenden Tabelle zusammengefasst auf die sich der heutige Tag konzentrieren wird, wie in der folgenden Tabelle zusammengefasst: Die Betwinner-App kann über die Website www.b

Pinsent Masons added: “A more aggressive HMRC inevitably means more disagreements with businesses and individuals over their tax liability.

“[And] every new tribunal case is a new business or individual having to spend time, effort, and money to reach an agreement with HMRC. This has a big knock-on effect for the business or individual involved”.

Evidencing the claim, the law firm said the growing number of disputes has led to the backlog of unheard cases increasing, by a third, from 16,700 (in Q4 2010) to 22,100 (in Q4 2011).

“The backlog just goes to show that the system is getting clogged up,” said Pinsent Masons tax partner Ian Hyde.

“There are simply too many cases to handle and something is clearly wrong with HMRC’s approach. True, budget cuts might not have helped HMRC, but they need to adapt more effectively to the situation.”

The tribunal system was reformed in 2009 to introduce first-tier and upper-tier tribunals. First-tier tribunals usually hear cases in the first instance, with appeals heard by the upper-tier tribunals.

Pointing to more recent reform, in the shape of the ADR going nationwide, Mr Hyde reflected: “It takes more than just a policy change or an announcement to change things on the ground. The experience for many taxpayers in dispute with HMRC is still one of confrontation rather than consensus. There needs to be a real sea-change in culture at HMRC if a more consensual approach is to be adopted”.

 

 

 

14th June 2012

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