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HMRC threatens court action in pursuit of unpaid tax

Over the years the HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) has often been willing to negotiate terms on unpaid taxes but this current tax year has seen a significant change in this strategy. The revenue is now more than willing to go straight to court for a full and frank settlement if it believes there is a strong enough case to take legal action.

This has seen a significant increase in the number of cases referred to the VAT and Duties Tribunal and the Special Commissioner Tribunal. While it would appear that the government is trying to rake in as much money as possible due to the cost of the banking bailout, this is a situation which began some time before the credit crunch. There have also been claims that HMRC has been using anti-terror laws to gain access to private and detailed information about many people in the UK.

The battle between UK taxpayers, non-taxpayers and the government has certainly moved to another level over the last 12 months and there is concern about further friction in the short to medium term. However, as we saw last month the UK government has given a number of those with overseas assets time to pay tax on undeclared income, before taking court action.

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