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Prudential and legal advice privilege

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In R (on the application of Prudential plc and another) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax and another [2013] UKSC 1, the Supreme Court held that legal advice privilege (LAP) cannot be claimed in respect of confidential communications between accountants and their clients for the purpose of requesting or providing legal advice. The majority of the justices considered that it was for parliament, and not for the courts, to consider whether to extend the scope of LAP to legal advice provided by non-legal professionals, including tax advice provided by accountants. Taxpayers who have asserted LAP over tax advice received from their accountants will now be required to disclose that advice to HMRC. Although such advice is unlikely to be relevant to the determination of a taxpayer's liability to tax, HMRC is interested to obtain correspondence that may point to the motives or objectives in implementing an arrangement.

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