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Bring in an expert

17 November 2009 / Simon McKie
Issue: 4232 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
SIMON MCKIE considers the role of the specialist witness when tax advice goes wrong


  • The history of the expert witness.
  • The extent of the duty of care when advising.
  • Quantifying the loss caused by negligent advice.
  • Ensure that all relevant factors are considered.
  • Could a loss have been mitigated?
  • The importance of mediation in negligence proceedings.

Tax is complex and the financial consequences of a mistake can be catastrophic.

Deciding where the legal liability for the consequences of such a mistake lies itself calls for high levels of professional knowledge and judgment and those who specialise in litigation cannot be experts in revenue law and practice.

The court in reaching its decisions in such cases must form a judgment on many matters requiring professional experience in the practice of taxation. In cases concerning negligent tax advice the litigator...

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