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When tax goes wrong

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What approach should be taken to assist a client when tax planning goes wrong? The starting point should be to assemble the best team, which ideally should include tax technical expertise as well as advice in respect of possible litigation, both against HMRC and perhaps also any previous advisers. The taxpayer’s position should then be calmly evaluated at an early stage so that an appropriate strategy is able to be put in place. If the client has a good technical defence, it may be preferable to seek to uphold this, rather than concede the position. At the other end of the spectrum, it is a matter of paying the tax and seeking to win a professional negligence case. The position is inevitably more complicated where the taxpayer has a defensible position but which carries a significant risk of being successfully attacked by HMRC.

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