The increasingly confrontational approach of tax authorities and willingness of the media to put tax on the front page means that a tax dispute can quickly turn into a tax crisis. Such a crisis can arise in a number of ways:
- As a result of assertions by the tax authority and/or the media that a taxpayer is embroiled in tax fraud or has participated in a tax avoidance scheme that is deemed 'aggressive'
- Where a taxpayer discovers itself that an actual or potential tax liability has arisen that might have a critical impact on its business or criminal implications
- Following the most serious forms of intervention by the tax authority, such as the arrest and criminal investigation of individuals, the raid of premises to search and seize evidence, the freezing of assets and seizure and destruction of goods
- Where the tax authority issues a tax assessment or other ruling that will have such an impact on the taxpayer that it potentially threatens the viability of a business or livelihood of an individual.
Our resolute commitment to clients in these situations means that we quickly become their trusted advisor, working with other specialists (such as public relations experts and forensic accountants) to help them take control of the situation and navigate a way through the crisis. Where the circumstances permit, we will take the fight back to the tax authority (e.g. through challenges to the use of their powers) to give our clients breathing space to carry out their own investigation of the position and regularise matters in a more favourable way.