CMS UK Tax Disputes Digest - Summer 2023

United Kingdom

Welcome to the Summer 2023 edition of our UK Tax Disputes Digest: a high-level summary of key developments in contentious tax over the last few months for heads of tax, finance directors, general counsel and other in-house professionals.

In previous editions, we have discussed the pressure on HMRC following the end of the pandemic to recover money through closing the tax gap. Over the last quarter, we have seen a continued increase in HMRC investigations across various areas. Both individual and corporate taxpayers would be well-advised to check their tax position as soon as possible to prepare for any potential HMRC investigation into their tax affairs.

In this edition, we look at just a few of the latest developments, including recently published HMRC guidance on the “unallowable purpose” rule, a consultation aimed at curbing tax avoidance by umbrella companies, a new Code of Practice 9, a report by the Public Accounts Committee which adds further pressure on HMRC, and the latest series of HMRC nudge campaigns (including a new campaign aimed at UK residents identified as part of the “Pandora Papers” leak).

We also cover a number of notable tax cases and other interesting procedural decisions, including a recent victory for SSE in the Supreme Court on which the CMS Tax Disputes and Investigations team was instructed.

We are also delighted to have become a contributing author to the Chambers and Partners Tax Controversy 2023 Global Practice Guide, with the first ever UK chapter. Please see the Digest to read the chapter setting out the essential background on tax disputes in the UK, as well as a summary of the latest trends and developments.

Click here to read the report.