UK and International Tax news

Consultation On Tax Enquiries And Closure Rules

Friday 30th January 2015

HMRC has recently issued a consultation document [condoc] on proposals to refer matters to the tax tribunal with a view to achieving early resolution of one or more aspects of an enquiry into a tax return.

Currently, tax enquiry processes covering income tax, NICs, capital gains tax and corporation tax can be inflexible for taxpayers with complex tax affairs and can take a long time to settle. The existing rules prevent the formal resolution of one issue without the closure of the whole enquiry into the tax return unless both parties agree to refer an issue to the tax tribunal.

The new consultation examines the current enquiry process and the restrictions it puts on HMRC in resolving one or more aspects of an enquiry and seeks views on a proposal to improve the enquiry process by enabling HMRC to achieve early resolution and closure of one or more aspects where it is not appropriate to close the whole tax enquiry.

The condoc examines the types of cases which could be targeted, proposes potential safeguards on the use of the new power, and includes changes to the rules governing payment so as to allow earlier payment in respect of aspects of the enquiry successfully concluded by HMRC under the proposed power.

HMRC has requested views from interested parties by 12 March 2015.

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