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Clark v HMRC

In Clark v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 204 (21 February 2020) the Court of Appeal held that it is not possible to widen the scope of a discovery assessment on appeal but that in this case the assessment was wide enough to encompass the tax charge that HMRC sought to impose.

The taxpayer had entered into a scheme designed to extract money from a self-invested personal pension plan (SIPP) so that he could invest it in residential property without attracting a tax penalty. The scheme involved transferring the money from the SIPP to another pension scheme that was set up for this purpose (the ‘first transfer’) and then to a company incorporated in Cyprus (the ‘second transfer’).

There were two questions under appeal. The first was whether there had been an unauthorised member payment for the purposes of the pensions tax regime in circumstances where...

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