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Income Tax Enquiry Procedures

Kate Selway, a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of counsel, successfully represented HMRC in two First Tier Tribunal tax appeals (Reid & Emblin-v-HMRC) which concerned the correct procedures to be applied by HMRC under sections 9A and 12AC of the Taxes Management Act 1970 on the opening and closing of enquiries into taxpayers’ self-assessment tax returns, how the enquiry process interacts with carry-back claims for loss relief and the relationship between personal and partnership self assessment tax returns.


The two taxpayers claimed loss relief arising out of two failed tax avoidance schemes. Their appeals against enquiry closure notices focussed on the submission that, under the scheme of the legislation, for any tax return there can ever only be one enquiry into that tax return, and only one closure of that enquiry (with limited exceptions not relevant to this appeal). In a detailed and technical judgment the Tribunal judge found for HMRC on all points raised in the appeals. One of the key findings is the distinction that must be drawn between an “actual” notice of enquiry and a “deemed” notice of enquiry into a partnership return.

For the full text of the decision of Tribunal Judge Aleksander, which was released on 26th April 2018, click here.