On 30 July, an article from Bird & Bird reported that the Court of Appeal has confirmed that HMRC are entitled to conduct an informal investigation into a taxpayer’s affairs outside of their formal enquiry powers.  The case involved centred on HMRC’s ancillary powers which allow it to do anything which they think is necessary, expedient, incidental or conducive for the exercise of their statutory functions.  The firm warns that, while one of the advantages to taxpayers of being within a formal enquiry is that they will have access to certain statutory protections, not least the right to ask the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) to close the enquiry altogether, a result of the Court of Appeal’s decision is foreseeable to be that HMRC will begin to conduct informal investigations with new-found confidence (knowing that the bar for successful judicial review in such cases has been set very high).

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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