HMRC battles with firms for years in difficult tax cases

Written by Oliver Wade
06/11/2018

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has found itself caught in several tax battles, as the average age of unsettled tax disputes with the UK’s largest organisations climbs.

In the year to the end of March, the revenue’s open tax battles soared from an average duration of 34 months to 39 months, revealing that many cases are taking longer than three years to reach a conclusion, according to research from Pinsent Masons.

Despite this, approximately 85 per cent of cases reached a conclusion within 18 months. However, many drag on for a much longer duration as tax authorities battle through litigation in a bid to increase revenues from large firms.

Though the duration of investigations increased, the number of investigations open at the end of the year actually dropped to 3,302, a significant decrease on the 3,617 cases that were open in 2016/17. This statistic suggests that HMRC is caught in legal disputes with several companies that have the resources to prolong tax battles.

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