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by the Hissing GEEse

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‘The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest amount of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.’

Attrib. Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), Chief Minister to Louis XIV.

Valuable Expertise?
Valuation, it is often said, is not an art but a science.  A recent case suggests that it is sometimes a mere shot in the dark.  The FtT case of…
Power without Responsibility
Those who deal regularly with matters of domicile and residence know that HMRC routinely requests large shopping lists of information from taxpayers in the course of its enquiries often where…
Time’s Fools
We have always enjoyed explaining to our clients why the UK’s fiscal year ends on 5th April.  A pleasant excursus into Mediaeval and Renaissance history In the 12th Century, the…
A Happy 21st for the Tax Cartel
Imagine that the major food manufacturers combined to place a minimum price on food so as to restrict competition and artificially inflate their profits. What an outcry there would be.…
First Tier Union
It is for the Court to determine what is the content of the law of the country in which it has jurisdiction.  The content of the laws of other countries…
Rediscovery
Sean Kelly v. HMRC [2021] is an interesting case in which assessments were issued in 2016 on the basis of a discovery under TMA 1970 s. 29(1), and subsequently withdrawn…
A Sad Case
The case of D Austin v. G Mitchell and another [2020] is an interesting, unusual and affecting non-tax case involving questions of domicile.  Domicile questions are always bound up with…
Partners in Crime
The case of XL Insurance Company SE and IPORS Underwriting Limited, Paul Alan Corcoran v. HMRC and others was not strictly a tax case but it concerns a principle of…
Your money or your life
HMRC’s overwhelming resources often allows it to collect tax which is not due.  A taxpayer assessed on a basis which is technically doubtful or incorrect has a difficult decision to…