HMRC's Litigation and Settlement Strategy (LSS)
HMRC's litigation and settlement strategy (LSS) is their internal guidance to staff on handling tax disputes and is a worthwhile read, if you find yourself involved in a tax dispute.
The two key elements if HMRC's approach to dealing with tax disputes are as follows:
- supporting customers to get their tax right first time, so preventing a dispute arising in the first place; and
- resolving those disputes which do arise in a way which establishes the right tax due at the least cost to HMRC and to its customers, which in most cases will involve working collaboratively.
The LSS encourages HMRC staff to:
- Minimise the scope for disputes and seek non-confrontational solutions;
- Base case selection and handling on what best closes the tax gap;
- Resolve tax disputes consistently with HMRC’s considered view of the law;
- Subject to that, handle and resolve disputes cost effectively – based on the wider impact or value of cases across the tax system and across HMRC’s customer base;
- Ensure that the revenue flows potentially involved make any dispute worthwhile;
- (in strong cases) settle for the full amount HMRC believes the Tribunal or Courts would determine, or otherwise litigate;
- (in ‘all or nothing’ cases) not split the difference;
- (in weak or non-worthwhile cases) concede rather than pursue.
To vie the full document, please click here.