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Double jeopardy

19 February 2015
Issue: 4490 / Categories: Tax cases , Admin , Compliance , Investigations , Self assessment

M Higgins (TC4259)

The taxpayer was prosecuted by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) for illegal waste disposal.

The court imposed a confiscation order for £400,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, s 156.

SOCA later informed the taxpayer that it was taking over the general revenue functions of HMRC for his tax returns for 1996/97 to 2003/04. The agency raised discovery assessments and imposed penalties under FA 2009, sch 56.

The taxpayer appealed against the fines.

The First-tier Tribunal said the confiscation order’s figure had been reached on the basis it was an amount the appellant could afford to pay.

It was assumed that the sum included tax due on it, meaning it was necessary to deduct from the discovery assessments the amount taken as assessed in the £400,000, to avoid double recovery of income tax, which led to a reduction in the penalties.

The taxpayer’s appeal was allowed in part.

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