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Will it Ever End?

Richard Clarke and Jennifer Knowlson of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP tax investigations network look at Eclipse Films Partners v HMRC a recent decision concerning an application to close an enquiry
The imbalance within the Taxes Acts between the rights given to HMRC to enquire into a taxpayer's return and the protections given to the taxpayer are illustrated once again in a case reported this month. This is despite the fact that on this occasion the taxpayer was successful in its application to have an enquiry closed. It seems we operate within a self-assessment regime which gives an automatic right of enquiry to the tax authorities (which will in practice be greatly extended from 1 April) yet provides only an unwieldy legal process for the taxpayer who wishes to challenge HMRC's intention to prolong enquiries. Currently...

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