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Inland Revenue certificates: Section 70, HMRC and the Scottish courts

Category Technical Articles
AuthorTechnical Department
Article by Philip Simpson, advocate, barrister and chartered tax adviser. This article appeared in the February 2007 issue of Tax Adviser. Section 70(1) of the Taxes Management Act 1970 provides, in short, that where tax is in arrears a certificate issued by an inspector that tax is due, and a certificate from a collector, that it has not been paid, 'shall be sufficient evidence that the sum mentioned in the certificate is unpaid and is due to the Crown'. The view of HMRC in Scotland has been that where a certificate is issued under this provision a taxpayer wishing to challenge his liability to pay the amount in the certificate must not only explain why it is wrong, but also have the court set the certificate aside. In the recent case of Inland Revenue Commissioners v Findlay McClure & Co, the Court of Session has held this view to be incorrect.

February 2007 by Philip Simpson
Technical Department
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