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Other cases that caught our eye: 24 May 2024

Discovery assessment on pension scheme charges upheld: L Trachtenberg v HMRC [2024] UKFTT 376 (TC) (9 May) involves another challenge to the scope of the discovery provisions this time concerning pension scheme unauthorised payments charges (and associated surcharges). The precise statutory rule in dispute was in TMA 1970 s 29(1)(b) which enables HMRC to make a discovery assessment for a year of assessment if they discover that an assessment to tax is or has become insufficient. Here the taxpayer had not included the pension scheme charges in his return for the year in which they arose and HMRC issued discovery assessments.

The taxpayer put forward a series of inventive but ultimately unsuccessful arguments that: s 29 did not apply at all because no regulations had been made under the pension schemes provisions to that effect; that the charges were freestanding charges not related to years of assessment and...

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