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Tax Investigations & Litigation

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Our aim is not to litigate but to settle claims as effectively, efficiently and rapidly as possible.


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Head of Tax

Simon Skinner

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+44 (0)20 7295 3242

Simon became partner at Travers Smith in 2007 and Head of Tax in 2017. Simon specialises in corporate and individual taxation, regularly advising listed companies, institutional investors, founders and management teams. His practice includes public and private M&A, restructurings and reorganisations, domestic and international tax advisory projects, disputes, public-to-privates, demergers, IPOs and joint ventures. Simon is a member of the Law Society's Corporation Tax sub-committee and is ranked by Chambers UK, Legal 500 and the International Who's Who of Corporate Tax Advisors.

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We have experience, particularly in the banking and financial sectors, in dealing with tax investigations and the impact of third party investigations on our clients. We have also run cases against HM Customs & Excise. This is an area increasingly requiring legal input, in addition to accounting input, as our expertise in interviews, admissibility of evidence and linked legislation (money laundering and proceeds of crime, for example) is vital to ensuring that our clients achieve the best possible outcome in what are often very difficult circumstances.

In particular, our legal expertise is seen as essential in preparing formal proceeding documents (such as notices of appeal), ascertaining the status of any claim with the VAT tribunal, applying for hardship in VAT matters and maintaining an appeal which has been made.

Our services also go beyond those required for the purposes of litigation such as analysing the nature of the claim, preparing instructions to Counsel and preparing and corresponding with HMRC in relation to certain of the matters raised.

Our recent work includes:

  • VAT litigation: appealing assessments, including making hardship applications; management of VAT Tribunal claims and advising investment fund managers on VAT reclaims
  • acting for McCarthy & Stone plc on ground breaking Court of Appeal case of McCarthy v McCarthy & Stone plc which established a new restitutionary right for employers to recover PAYE liabilities from employees/former employees
  • advising a US listed company on a PAYE settlement relating to share options exercised by expatriate employees
  • representing a leading clearing bank in judicial review cases against HMRC relating to attempts to obtain papers concerning taxpayers´ bank accounts
  • acting for a multinational company in relation to an investigation on the tax treatment of termination payments; successfully defending the section 401 ITEPA status of the payments
  • assisting a multinational in relation to an ongoing transfer pricing investigation including pre-action disclosure under Taxes Management Notices and related appeals to the Special Commissioners

For more information on our Dispute Resolution department, please click here.