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Budget 2014: Compliance and enforcement

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No surprises, but HMRC is very clearly ‘up for a fight’ with taxpayers (and their advisers) who have undertaken tax arrangements that are subject to DOTAS or, in due course, are subject to an adverse opinion by the GAAR advisory panel. This raises a number of legal questions about retrospectivity and is in practice likely to give rise to legal challenge; this even appears to have been anticipated by HMRC, which promises to provide whatever it takes to make this proposal work. There is also a draconian proposal which will come into force next year, enabling HMRC to enforce debts from taxpayers’ bank accounts. The gloves are now well and truly off.

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