In Janet Addo v HMRC [2018] TC06700 the FTT allowed a taxpayer’s application to gain access to HMRC’s specialist team documents. They had been relied on by HMRC’s relevant officer in making a Discovery Assessment.

HMRC may make a Discovery Assessment, that is an assessment outside of normal assessment time limits when all the relevant qualifying conditions are met.

  • Rule 27 of the Tribunal rules requires parties to disclose the documents which they intend to rely on.
  • Unlike the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) there is no requirement to disclose documents which adversely affect or support the other party’s case.
  • HMRC’s witness evidence mentioned reliance on its specialist Transfer of Assets Abroad (TOAA) team and notes from discussions within the Anti-avoidance group.
  • HMRC refused to disclose these because they were ‘sensitive’.
  • The taxpayer made application to the FTT for disclosure.

The FTT found that disclosure was necessary in the interests of fairness.

HMRC is appealing the decision.

Useful guides on this topic

How to appeal a decision of HMRC
Key steps in appealing a decision of HMRC.

How to appeal a tax penalty
Essential reading in cases were there are penalties too

Time limits for normal assessment
What are the normal assessment time limits?

Discovery assessment and time limits
How far HMRC can go back to re-open years and what conditions must be met for a valid discovery assessment?

Penalties: Error in a return or document
How work out penalties for different forms of inaccuracies

DOTAS: Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes
Rules for declaring use of tax schemes

External links

Janet Addo v HMRC [2018] TC06700


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