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Tower MCashback: impact on closure notices

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In HMRC v Tower MCashback LLP 1 [2011] UKSC 19, the Supreme Court held that tribunals are not limited by the precise wording of a closure notice when hearing an appeal. The importance of this decision is that there should be a shortening of the length of HMRC enquiries. HMRC will not be able to use the argument that they have not pursued every line of enquiry to the end to prevent a closure notice being issued. But, as this brings an element of uncertainty as to the issues that may be articulated at the hearing, taxpayers need to ensure that the tribunals actively use their case management powers to protect against attempted ambushes of new arguments or evidence being deployed at or during the hearing.

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