The decision, which involved three taxpayers, could have far-reaching consequences for the way Customs carries out its investigations.
In the case, Han & Yau, Martins & Martins and Morris v Customs & Excise, the tribunal ruled that although action was brought under civil proceedings, the matters should be considered criminal for human rights purposes based on the severity of the penalties imposed and the nature of the offences.
Treating a matter as criminal would give a taxpayer additional protection, including the right to silence and the right against self-incrimination.Mark Whitehouse of KLegal, KPMG’s legal arm, said: ‘Customs will now have to think very carefully how they implement the Human Rights Act.
‘For instance, investigators will need to issue cautions otherwise evidence could be inadmissible, and they will not be able to draw adverse inferences from taxpayers exercising the right to silence.’
Customs & Excise said it was considering an appeal.
For further analysis of the tribunal decision, visit www.kpmg.co.uk/uk/press
Crowe Clark Whitehill , the top 20 accountancy firm, has announced the promotion of Chris Mould to partner
The latest opinions from Accountancy Age on Making Tax Digital, and outline plans to evolve the UK's corporate governance regime
Five million taxpayers are ow using digital personal tax accounts (PTA) as part of the making tax digital strategy, HMRC said
UK-based non-doms have paid ten times more tax than the average taxpayer, raising concerns over the Brexit impact on non-dom contributions and therefore, the economy