Why choose our Contentious Tax team?
We have deep understanding and experience of all of the circumstances in which companies and individuals may find themselves in disagreement about their tax position with tax authorities or with previous professional advisers.
The vast majority of contentious tax matters on which we are instructed settle, often on advantageous terms for our clients. Where settlement cannot be achieved, we litigate and have an excellent success record, from the Tribunals up to the Supreme Court.
We have considerable expertise in advising on cross-border tax issues, particularly in the EU, and have had conduct of many references to the CJEU. We are multi-lingual, advising in English, French, and German. In conjunction with our network of European offices, we also advise clients on tax matters in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain.
We are consistently highly-ranked in Chambers and Legal 500. Clients praise us for our knowledge of HMRC's procedures and processes, our technical expertise and our understanding of our clients' drivers.
We also offer a range
of funding options for contentious tax clients, including fixed fees and
Notable Cases and Work
- The Eclipse Settlement Opportunity – announced in September 2021, this is a landmark offer for the entire membership of the Eclipse partnerships, drawing a line under a highly contentious and long running dispute with HMRC. The product of eight years of work and analysis, the settlement eliminates the risk of £1.6 billion of dry tax (tax on income without corresponding relief for expenditure) for some 700 individuals.
- The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v Invamed Group Limited and Others. Representative group litigation on behalf of a consortium of mobility scooter companies that developed customs duty law in this area across the EU. The CJEU's decision in the group's favour was released in May 2016, the decision of the Court of Appeal in the group's favour in February 2020, and the decision of the Supreme Court refusing HMRC's application for leave to appeal in November 2020.
- The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v Desmond Higgins. The team acted for Mr. Higgins at the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal, resulting in him succeeding in his claim for Principal Private Residence Relief. The decision in December 2019 clarifies that the relief is available for the period between exchange and completion.
Most of our matters are settled without recourse to the courts and remain confidential. Recent examples of such work, and current matters, include:
- Advising on and conducting tax-related professional negligence claims
- Advising businesses and individuals in relation to IR35
- Advising businesses and individuals in relation to disclosures to HMRC of offshore tax irregularities
- Advising businesses in relation to HMRC sectoral investigations into employment issues
- Advising SRA and FCA regulated individuals in relation to COP8 and COP9 investigations into their personal tax affairs
- Appeals against HMRC's imposition of tax charges in respect of "tax avoidance schemes"
- Advising in respect of Accelerated Payment Notices and Follower Notices
- Assisting businesses during HMRC searches under warrant at their offices
- Assisting (including at interviews under caution) individuals who have been accused of cheating the public revenue
Latest Contentious Tax news and views
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