2013 – A review of the year, and Seasonal Greetings!
2013 has been a busy year for the RPC Tax Take team. To round the year off we have highlighted below a small sample of some of our top blog posts from the past 12 months.
- In January one of our first posts of the year considered the eagerly awaited decision of the Upper Tribunal in Charlton: see Victory for the taxpayers in the Charlton case as the UT confirms that HMRC's discovery assessments were unlawful.
- Although Charlton was a good win for the taxpayer, at the time it was hoped that it wouldprovide clarity on the difficult area of the law of when HMRC are entitled to raise a discovery assessment. The decision of the First-tier Tribunal in Robert Smith in October demonstrated that this was sadly not the case. We commented on the Robert Smith case: see A discovery too far?
- In June we picked up on the decision in the joined cases of Morgan and Donaldson, see Tribunal allows taxpayers' appeals against daily penalties as HMRC had failed to give proper notice. In this case the First-tier Tribunal adopted a 'purposive' interpretation of the relevant legislation but in this instance in favour of the taxpayers.
- In July we considered the new general anti-abuse rule ('GAAR'). The GAAR was included in the Finance Bill 2013, which received Royal Assent on 17 July. The GAAR takes us into uncharted territory, as UK tax legislation seeks to draw a line between reasonable tax planning and abusive, unacceptable tax avoidance: see The new GAAR – a journey into the unknown?
- Finally, in August we highlighted the hotly contested ROSIIP judicial review before the High Court in which HMRC withdrew relevant assessments and were ordered to pay the applicants' costs on an indemnity basis: see HMRC suffer humiliating defeat in overseas pension scheme judicial review. We noted at the time that the judge had apparently demanded that HMRC provide a policy statement, on the basis that the public are entitled to know what HMRC's policy is. A guidance note was published by HMRC on 27 November 2013: see here.
RPC Tax Take will return in the week commencing 6 January 2014. In the meantime, we wish all of our readers Seasonal Greetings and a Happy New Year!
The blog was written by Nigel Brook.
  UKFTT 770 (TCC)
  UKFTT 368 (TC)
  UKFTT (TC)