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14 posts
Apr 06, 2022
4:56 PM

In this post are a deluge of succulent facts around the subject of Tax Barristers.

What type of tax work is suited to using tax counsel? The work broadly falls within two categories: contentious and non-contentious. Contentious work means not only going to tribunal or court, but also includes negotiating with HMRC; while non-contentious work might involve problem solving and structuring. Tax barristers act in relation to pension schemes created by statute such as the Local Government Pension Scheme, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and the Universities Superannuation Scheme. With an expert understanding of the criminal justice system, tax barristers guide their clients through the legal process. If you have a discrepancy with HMRC over how much tax you have paid, or they claim you owe, your tax barrister will be able to represent you at the First-tier Tax Tribunal or Upper Tribunal. Tax barristers are frequently instructed to provide advice in respect of non-contentious issues, including issues which arise as part of larger corporate transactions, and to assist in drafting pension scheme and other pensions-related documentation. The government's right to claim the tax that it owns is a property right, just like any other, defining tax in this way reinforces the property right of everyone in a society and says everyone has the right to own what is really theirs.

.Tax Barristers.

Barristers with a tax specialism leave no stone unturned, employing effective trial management tactics, are thorough and meticulously in their preparation and presentation of the case. Tax evasion is taken extremely seriously and is often punished with severe penalties. Many barristers provide counsel and case management for anyone facing investigation or litigation for financial crime cases, including money laundering, Income Tax fraud, Unexplained Wealth Orders, Payroll Fraud and Proceeds of Crime Act. Tax barristers offer advice and assistance with the negotiation and settlement of HMRC enquiries and representation before the Tax Tribunal and Courts on contentious tax matters, as well as non-contentious advice within core areas. A Pensions Advice service will represent clients to determine the best fit for their needs.

Thinking Outside The Box

During a tax investigation, a tax barrister may explain the investigative process and advise on how long it is likely to last. Negotiation and drafting of settlements with tax authorities (particularly on "big ticket"/high value matters) are aspects that a barrister can give an opinion on. A tax barrister can advise on pension disputes concerning the interpretation of pension scheme rules A taxpaying entity, such as an individual, partnership, corporation, trust, etc. that has a complex financial situation (e.g., complex investments and deductions) can seek out the expertise of a tax advisor to help minimize the amount of taxes to be paid to the taxing authorities. In recent years, the UK tax authority, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), has become more aggressive in tackling tax avoidance, largely in response to political pressure that it was soft on this issue. This has resulted in a significant growth in UK tax disputes, both in a civil and criminal context. Specialist assistance for Tax Barrister should be sought whenever required.

Accomplished tax specialists are able to advise on the merits of a taxpayer's case. People often get confused about tax and a common misconception is around how tax works for the higher tax bands. Some tax barristers spend their time advising trustees, employers, independent governance committees and insurers on all pensions issues. This includes advising on both occupational and personal pension schemes, pension products, litigation, regulatory issues (both TPR and FCA) and de-risking strategies. If you are looking to mitigate the rate of tax when you sell or otherwise dispose of assets, or are considering the impact of getting rid of assets on other taxes, a tax barrister can guide you. Most barristers are self-employed. To share costs, they band together with other barristers in offices referred to as sets of chambers (or sometimes ‘stables’ in Scotland). As you may be aware, the best Domicile Advice service can give advice in relation to their area of knowledge.

Tax Proceedings

Some UK tax barristers are authorised by the Bar Standards Board to accept Direct Access work and to undertake litigation, which means that they can advise corporate or private clients directly, and deal directly with HMRC on their behalf. Barristers that are experienced in tax disputes can represent clients in tax tribunals and arrange for representations in the higher courts. SDLT implications of corporate reorganisations and mergers including SDLT relief on intra-group transfers of property, reconstruction and acquisition reliefs on demergers of property and alternative structures where reliefs are not available is an area of expertise for a tax barrister. A tax barrister can help identify key risks, deal with tax authorities in a manner which minimises reputational and financial risk, and ensure that an individual or business is prepared against the unexpected. Tax planning in relation to the family home is a matter that a UK tax barrister could advise on. Advisory services such as Inheritance Tax Advice are a common sight today.

Taxes on cross-border transactions is a matter that tax barristers can accept instructions in. Members of Chambers are often instructed as part of multi-disciplinary teams with accountants and tax advisers. Many conferences, particularly those involving pure points of law are handled over the telephone. There will however be some matters where a face to face meeting will be preferable. You can find further insights on the topic of Tax Barristers at this link.

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