Tax Backlog Disputes get Extremely High
27,246 is the record number of the disputes that are waiting to be heard with a specific surge in the high value cases that have been raised by the upper tax tribunal. This was said by Pinsent Masons law firm.
Included in the total of high value disputes that are joining the queue of hearing by the Tribunal of upper taxes is a surge of the disputed numbers. In the past one year, 267 new upper tribunal cases have been filed. This is a 32 % increase as compared to the previous year; just like it was 5 years ago when they lodged 70 new cases with the upper tribunal.
In a bid to ascertain that cases regarding tax are heard much faster, the commission of Judicial Appointments is now making recruitments for up to four salaried judges. In the case of the First Tier Tax Tribunals, they are recruiting close to 35 fee-paid judges.
The Pinsent Masons has put a stern warning that the hostile litigation strategy of HMRC means that in spite of the expansion efforts of the capacity of the system, some years could still elapse before reaching on a ruling especially for the complicated cases.
Recently, the Public Accounts Committee made public a report that criticized HMRC for its slowness in handling the cases relating to tax evasion. The backlog is piling by the day even if the tax tribunals are getting through the cases much faster. The time it takes to have cases completed needs to substantially come down in order to ensure that tax payers are not left out in financial darkness for eternity. This was said by James Bullock who heads compliance and litigation at Pinsent Masons.
In order to attain a time frame that is realistic for the tax cases, HMRC requires negotiating deals. For instance, this is with the 65,000 avoidance cases that have been identified by HMRC. The increased cases at the Upper Tax Tribunal will be an area of concern for those tax payers which HMRC has given an Accelerated Payment Notice thereby forcing them in paying the tax that is disputed beforehand.