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Backlogged tax disputes building up

HMRC’s toughened stance on tax avoidance issues has resulted in a record number of unsolved tax disputes piling high, at 27,246.

Pinsent Masons, a legal firm, explained that there is a particular increase in cases of a high value received at the Upper Tax Tribunal.

The Tribunal has received 267 new cases within the last 12 months – a 32 per cent rise on 2013 – and close to four times the number filed in 2009.

The Judicial Appointments Commission wants to fill a number of positions to speed up the process in dealing with the backlog.

The law firm has expressed concern over HMRC’s tough litigation plan, as a number of years could pass before a ruling is made on the more advanced cases.

A report was recently published by The Public Accounts Committee that criticised HMRC for not acting quickly enough in its handling of the backlog.

Pinsent Masons’ chief of compliance and litigation, James Bullock, said:

“The tax tribunals have been getting through cases quicker but the backlog is still going up. The time taken for cases to [be] completed needs to come down substantially so that taxpayers are not left in financial limbo for what can be years.”

For those businesses that haven’t been subject to HMRC’s firmer approach, it would be wise to ensure that books continue to be as accurate as possible. Employing the services of an accountant, in the Wirral or elsewhere in the UK, would go some way towards seeing that clean records are maintained and HMRC’s scrutiny is avoided.

Posted by Louise
December 3, 2014
HMRC

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