Tax Disputes, Controversy & Investigations for Inward Investors
HMRC and tax authorities around the world continue to be under increasing pressure to collect more tax and to clamp down on tax avoidance and profit shifting. In the UK this change in attitude by HMRC has been accompanied by challenging changes in public perceptions around big business in general and specifically around tax matters.
The UK tax authority, empowered with more data delivered by improved technology, an impressive track record in tax litigation and with greater pressure to reduce the investigations backlog (and the perceived ‘tax gap’) are increasingly taking a hard line in tax disputes which requires an experienced team to help to resolve issues.
Deloitte’s award-winning tax investigations and dispute resolution is well placed to assist those who are trying to understand the tax landscape in the UK and how best to navigate it. Deloitte’s tax controversy network is supported by a multidisciplinary team of leading tax and legal practitioners, supporting a full spectrum of clients from multinational corporations and funds to high net wealth individuals and private groups, private family offices and entrepreneurs.
David Hume, probably the best known practitioner who has been at the forefront of dealing with HMRC disputes for many years together with his partners, Samir Yahiaoui and Sarah Blekelock bring a unique understanding of HMRC to the advantage of Deloitte’s clients and have considerable experience in negotiating and dealing with HMRC at all levels. Samir is heavily involved in negotiating with HMRC to resolve complex domestic and international tax issues including transfer pricing and diverted profits tax, treasury related tax issues, and complex intangibles and capital gains matters in the early stages of an enquiry. As a legal practitioner, Sarah is a seasoned mediator, tax arbitrator and litigator with well-honed skills in developing case strategy, developing tax technical arguments and marshalling evidence in support as well as working on complex cross-border tax disputes managing dispute resolution teams in multiple countries.
The interests of today’s corporations, entrepreneurs, investors, business executives and funds are increasingly the subject of regulations and public scrutiny. This brings with it legal, tax and financial issues that require the attention and advice of experts of impeccable integrity, experience and competence. Experts who can plan and manage the tax affairs of market leaders, innovators and investors in the various sectors of the UK and world economies.
Nowhere is this more important than in cases relating to tax disputes, controversies, investigations and litigation, where the reputational, legal and financial consequences can have a considerable and long lasting impact. As fiscal authorities the world over increasingly scrutinize business, especially after the pandemic, the object of most of our clients is to reach a resolution with the relevant tax authority to achieve early tax certainty and reducing tax risk. We have considerable experience in assisting clients to resolve their tax disputes by agreement with the tax authorities, where appropriate, as well as strategically preparing matters in the event the dispute is best resolved by litigation or an alternate dispute resolution procedure.
For inward investors in all sectors of the UK economy, and indeed any economy, tax rules continue to evolve sometimes unpredictably, so it is essential that experts of the highest repute are retained on tax and tax disputes so that hurdles can be overcome, risks managed and ” the upside” captured.
There are no geographical limits to our expertise – many of our clients are based outside the UK and many of our UK clients also operate overseas. Given the UK the breadth of the UK’s tax treaty network, it is not unusual for us to be working seamlessly with our counterparts in countries all over the global to resolve taxpayers’ cross-border tax disputes. Our role invariably involves careful assessment of the facts and evidence, including document and email reviews and expert and witness evidence, as well as technical discussions and negotiations. But the distinguishing feature of our practice is that specialists from our dispute resolution network work closely together, forming a formidable, integrated team of experts able to deal with all aspects of the case innovatively, seamlessly and efficiently.
We are one of the world’s leading multinational accountancy and consultancy practices that can trace its origins back to 1845! But no matter our size, we have never lost sight of the personal connection between our clients and our advisers. Our substantive depth, global scale, and deep industry knowledge mean that we can swiftly assemble targeted teams to handle our clients’ most significant challenges and cross-border tax disputes.
With a team that is made up of tax specialists, accountants, lawyers, economists, former HMRC inspectors, data analysts and information technology experts, we achieve successful outcomes through risk management consulting, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation.
We advise on domestic and cross-border matters, and have active engagements in the following areas:
- Settlement of tax disputes as part of HMRC’s High Risk Corporate Programme and the Profit Diversion Compliance Facility;
- Collaborative dispute resolution on numerous enquiries, including Transfer Pricing and the UK Diverted Profits Tax; expenses of management; questions of tax residence, the existence of permanent establishments (PEs) and the Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) regime;
- Managing transfer pricing controversy risk through the negotiation of bilateral Advanced Pricing Agreements (APA) and seeking relief from double taxation through Mutual Agreement Procedures (MAP) including progressing matters to tax arbitration, where appropriate;
- The making of voluntary disclosures to HMRC;
- Managing cross-border tax disputes and joint audits with multiple jurisdictions;
- Negotiations and appeals on discovery assessments, penalties and closure notices, including appealing matters through the UK’s domestic tribunals and courts (litigating matters in the First-tier Tribunal to the Supreme Court);
- EU State Aid challenges and experience in running bilateral investment treaty disputes as well as arbitration under tax stability agreements entered into to support long term investment;
- Technology enabled marshalling of evidence to aid the strategic handling of HMRC document and information requests;
- Alternative Dispute Resolution in relation to direct and indirect tax matters
- Complex personal tax enquiries including domicile positions and trust status
- Investigations under Code of Practice 8 and 9 – where HMRC have alleged fraud and/or tax evasion
For further advice and assistance please contact:
020 7993 4255