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Mediation in larger scale cases: taxpayers should beware of the emperor bearing gifts

The period for tax practitioners to send comments to HMRC on its proposals for offering mediation as an alternative to litigation ended on 31 October 2011 and it will be interesting to see how HMRC decides to proceed.

Although it is difficult to identify accurate statistics the number of cases coming before the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) is increasing rapidly.

According to the Tribunals Services Statistics for 2010/11 there were 17 600 cases outstanding in the FTT on the 31 March 2011 as compared with 13 500 in 2010 notwithstanding there was more than twice the number of judicial sitting days in 2010/11 than 2009/10.

With 42% of standard/complex track cases not being heard by the FTT within 70 weeks of receipt there is a considerable incentive for taxpayers...

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