The Supreme Court decision in Haworth means HMRC must rethink their approach to follower notices

Marilyn McKeever, partner, BDB Pitmans, 14/07/2021

Follower notices are the nuclear option in HMRC’s anti-avoidance arsenal. They severely discourage the taxpayer from exercising their constitutional right of access to the courts. The Supreme Court, in the case of R (on the application of Haworth) v HMRC, has made it clear that HMRC must rethink their approach to follower notices before they press the red button.

Follower notices are intended to combat marketed tax avoidance schemes which are implemented by multiple taxpayers with few changes other than the taxpayer’s name. As ever, the legislation is drafted more broadly.

HMRC can issue a follower notice i...

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