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Brian Gerard Pepper v HMRC

In Brian Gerard Pepper v HMRC (TC03038 – 11 October) the home and office of Mr Pepper had been raided by the ARA (Assets Recovery Agency) which later merged with the SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency). The ARA commenced two claims in the High Court for civil recovery under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 2002. Under POCA 2002 s 317 the ARA was entitled to serve notice to HMRC that it intended to exercise HMRC’s recovery functions. Following service of such a notice the ARA issued tax assessments. A compromise agreement was subsequently reached between the ARA and Mr Pepper and the issue of the appeal was whether the agreement covered Mr Pepper’s outstanding tax liabilities.

The tribunal noted that: ‘The construction or meaning of a contract is what a reasonable person with all the relevant background knowledge of the parties at the time the...

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