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Whose fantasy?

16 February 2006 / Phillip Henwood
Issue: 4045 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , HMRC powers , VAT
Phillip Henwood relates a recent VAT tribunal case which was eventually settled prior to the actual hearing.

THE EXTENT OF the powers available to HMRC and how it appears they were misused by the predecessor Customs is demonstrated by the following true story. It also shows how essential it is for a person faced with an aggressive tax authority to be properly represented at all stages. This is particularly relevant in light of the recent consultation exercise on the new tribunal costs régime to be implemented following the merger of Customs and the Inland Revenue. One of the options considered was to dispense with cost awards to the successful appellant altogether.

Our client is in his 50s and served in the army in Northern Ireland where he was seriously injured by a sniper and invalided from the service. He lives with his disabled daughter and partner in a three-bedroomed ex-council house which has been especially adapted for her needs. Since 1998 our...

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