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Decision to bring civil or criminal proceedings lies with HMRC

17 July 2020
Issue: 4753 / Categories: Tax cases
L Hackett v CRC, Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber), 6 July 2020

HMRC imposed a personal liability notice (FA 2007 Sch 24 para 19) on the taxpayer. It related to a deliberate inaccuracy penalty assessment issued to Intekx Ltd a company of which he was the sole director. The department’s case was that the taxpayer had been involved in fraudulent transactions.

The taxpayer applied for a stay of proceedings. He said that given the serious nature of the allegations against him HMRC should have instituted criminal proceedings because the burden of proof on HMRC would have been higher - beyond reasonable doubt rather than balance of probabilities. He would have had the right to trial by jury and would have had protection against self-incrimination.

The Upper Tribunal reviewed the case law on the First-tier Tribunal’s jurisdiction to stay proceedings for abuse of process. It found the alleged abuse was outside the tribunal’s jurisdiction because it was not related to...

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