"Taxpayers and their advisers need to become more aware of the role that mediation can play in order to mitigate the considerable cost, worry and time."
Patrick Cannon, a leading London-based tax barrister and specialist SDLT barrister, has published an article in Tax Journal on the art of mediation in tax disputes. The piece was published in the 21st June issue of Tax Journal and can also be found online.
Mediation as a means of resolving commercial disputes involving tax has been around for ages but has only come to the fore in disputes with HMRC in the last six years or so. In 2018, HMRC reported a 62% rise in disputed tax collected using mediation last year, ending 31 March 2018, to £40.8m ($52.3m, €45.8m), up from £25.2m in 2016-17.
The journal article explores when and how to use mediation to resolve tax disputes, and comes from barrister Patrick Cannon, who has many years of experience in civil and criminal tax disputes with HMRC, challenges to tax avoidance schemes and action against professional and other advisers who mis-sold aggressive tax avoidance schemes now subject to APNs and Follower Notices. He is also the author of Tolley’s Stamp Taxes which published annually and just recently saw it’s latest yearly release.
Patrick has also published numerous texts for Tax Journal, including: ‘Recent judicial review challenges to HMRC search warrants’ and ‘SDLT: planning for higher rate transactions’. A full list of his works can be found here.
Speaking of his latest Tax Journal article, Patrick Cannon comments “Taxpayers and their advisers need to become more aware of the role that mediation can play in order to mitigate the considerable cost, worry and time that litigating tax disputes in the courts can cause.”
“The recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Archer where the taxpayer failed to exhaust other possible alternative dispute remedies before launching a judicial review and so was denied her huge legal costs against HMRC is a salutary warning to taxpayers and their advisers about the importance of exploring a mediated resolution before launching full scale legal assaults.”
To explore the ‘Art of mediation’ piece, you can find it on the Tax Journal online.