Taxation Magazine



Just been reading the Taxation article in the 12 October 2006 issue
about HMRC and not negotiating on investigations.

This is not something of our making or choice but one foisted on us by
the Special Commissioners. A recent case pointed out that certain
informal arrangements and negotiations were not ours to decide upon, but
where dependant upon the law, and that we have an obligation to act
within the constraints of the law.

I have to say that I agree, even if this does make my life harder. Why
should someone who does not take sufficient care get an advantage over
the taxpayer who does. I have been on record as saying that only a few
of those enquired into make underpayments as a matter of deliberate
avoidance. The vast majority find themselves due to error or ignorance
and the default HMRC position is that this is due to negligence to one
degree or another.

Then there are those that take sufficient care to ensure that the right
amount is paid by the right entity at the right time, usually at a cost
to themselves. It’s a poor state of affairs but these people are in the
majority. So why should the people in the first 23 categories be put in
a better financial position (having avoided the cost compliance, and
negotiated a discount on the duties they are supposed to have paid) than
those that got it right in the first place.

Just don’t seem right to me.



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