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Tax & Pension


We have the knowledge and expertise to handle appeals against tax assessments, and penalties on behalf of individuals or businesses. There is a mechanism which enables tax payers to appeal incorrect, or unfair decisions by tax inspectors. You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax) to challenge decisions by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Border Force or the National Crime Agency (NCA). The tribunal is independent of government.


You can appeal HMRC decisions about:

– ‘Direct tax’, e.g. Income Tax, PAYE tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax, National Insurance contributions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, and Inheritance Tax – note you must appeal to HMRC first.

– ‘Indirect tax’, e.g. VAT, excise duty, customs duty


We can advise and represent you in preparing your appeal and presenting it to the Tribunal.

Pension Litigation

There is an increasing amount of ligation surrounding so-called illegal pension liberation schemes and the transfer of UK pension pots overseas to inappropriate schemes. The Pensions Regulator states that “the pensions landscape has changed because since April 2015, pension scheme members have been able to access their pension savings in new ways”.

The tactics used by pension scammers to encourage people to transfer their pension savings is constantly changing. Scammers direct members to transfer their pension savings into small (often one or two member) occupational schemes in an attempt to escape scrutiny from regulators. If the member is under age 55, their pension cannot be released unless they are in ill health. Members over 55 have access to their pension funds but may still be at risk from scammers.

We are able to advise and represent you in your case against HMRC. Clarke Barnes advised the group representing Ark Pension Members in its dispute against HMRC who are relying on Justice Bean’s 2011 ruling that the Ark MPVAs (Maximising Pension Value Arrangement) were taxable unauthorised payments.

Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publish a list of schemes that meet the Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS) conditions, but there is increasing uncertainty as to whether all schemes meet the criteria. In such cases, HMRC may levy a tax charge on the tax payer. We are currently advising a number of pension members who have been exposed by ROPS rules and have been misadvised by pension advisers.