Published: March 2017Contents
i) What are the hot topics?
The idea behind The Tax Disputes and Litigation Reviewcommenced in 2013 with the general increase in litigation as tax authorities in a number of jurisdictions took a more aggressive approach to the collection of tax; in response, no doubt, to political pressure to address tax avoidance. In the UK alone the tax authority has been vested with broad new powers not only of disclosure but also to require tax, which is due, to be paid in advance of any determinationby a court.
ii) Tell us about any key legal developments – recent or pending – and their international impact.
Provisions empower the revenue authority, an administrative body, to compel payment of a sum, the subject of a genuine dispute, without any form of judicial control or appeal.
Over the past year, the focus on perceived cross-border abuses has continued with action by the European Commission on past tax rulings in Ireland, Luxembourg and Belgium, and base erosion and profit shifting reaching a crescendo in the announcement of a ‘diverted profits tax’ to impose an additional tax in the UK when it is felt that a multinational is subject to too little corporation tax even in an EU context.
The UK has introduced another measure imposing a ring-fenced super tax to strip away half of any interest received with the refund of overpaid tax where the refund is, in practice, the result of the enforcement of EU rights.
iii) What are the biggest opportunities and challenges for practitioners and clients?
In The Tax Disputes and Litigation Review, the authors have looked to the future and have summarised the policies and approaches of the revenue authorities regarding contentious matters, addressing important questions such as how long cases take and situations in which some form of settlement might be available.