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What five key points should be taken away from the PFP 2017 UK Tax Investigations Conference?

The PFP UK Tax Investigations Conference has become one of the biggest tax events in the calendar. Mark Taylor, Head of our Tax Investigations and Dispute Resolutions team, was invited to speak at this event, and he reveals the five key points taken away from his topic.

Guest speakers at the PFP 2017 UK Tax Investigations Conferences are recognised as being amongst the UK’s leading experts and personalities in the field of tax investigations and enquiries. Mark Taylor, Head of Buzzacott’s Tax Investigation & Dispute Resolution, was invited to speak at their most recent conference held on 13 October. He discussed HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC’s) increase in the last 12 months in challenging ‘inaccuracy errors’ in tax return documents, alleging the error was caused by deliberate behaviour rather than careless behaviour.

The five main points taken away from Mark’s topic were:

For Advisors to recognise the ‘end game’ and not get tactically ambushed by HMRC looking for opportunities to maximise yield intake through either earlier year assessments and/or increased penalty levies;

To understand the difference between deliberate and careless behaviour and the additional exposure to clients when deliberate and/or deliberate and concealed behaviour was being suggested;

Present facts to maximise clients’ behaviour, particularly where clients were exposed to either late filing, notification or inaccuracies failures. By doing so, one can limit a client being exposed to unnecessary tax, interest, penalties, publicity and on-going compliance;

Once exposure was identified, early disclosure should be considered to maximise the opportunity of mitigating the penalty levy that HMRC would  charge by telling and agreeing with HMRC what has been withheld, helping HMRC to agree the tax liability and giving access to all appropriate records and documents;

That the vast majority of careless behaviour cases where penalties were levied by HMRC were eligible for the penalties to be suspended and that advisors should be preparing their client’s case so that specific, measurable and achievable terms could be set to increase their client’s compliance to that of a robust taxpayer.

Feedback provided by attendees on Mark’s presentations was extremely positive. Mark said “It was a fascinating event and I thoroughly enjoyed providing delegates with an insight into HMRC’s latest thinking and strategy. In particular, I enjoyed the questions asked by the delegates, which showed some of the concerns I had expressed were shared.”.

For more information or advice please contact:

Mark Taylor

Head of Tax Investigations and Dispute Resolution

T | +44 (0)20 7556 1243

E | taylorm@buzzacott.co.uk