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IFS residential conference 2012: HMRC and the taxpayer

This one-and-a-half-day residential conference will bring together leading academics, policymakers and practitioners to share their perspectives on an important area of public policy. The conference has been designed with a mix of talks and break-out sessions to provide ample opportunity for attendees’ participation and an exciting forum for sharing ideas and helping to shape future policymaking.

The conference will focus on the relationship between HMRC and the taxpayer, addressing the following key policy issues. Each topic will be covered by a plenary session with a panel of speakers followed by questions and discussion from the floor. Delegates will then divide into groups for a number of parallel breakout sessions then reconvene to report back on their discussions.

A keynote speech will be given by David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary, on Friday. The speaker at the conference dinner will be Lin Homer, Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, HMRC and Edward Troup, Tax Assurance Commissioner, will speak on Saturday.

A drinks reception will be held on the Friday evening before dinner. This will be sponsored by the Tax Journal.

The HMRC review of powers
Now that there is some experience of the new HMRC powers in practice it is timely to discuss whether the new regime has delivered on expectations from the point of view of both the taxpayer and HMRC.

  • Chair: John Whiting OTS and Tax Policy Director, CIOT
  • Mike Truman Editor, Taxation Magazine
  • Simon Norris HMRC
  • Judge Colin Bishopp Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber)
  • John Whiting OTS and Tax Policy Director, CIOT

The new consultation process
The Government has committed to a comprehensive programme of consultation on new legislation. The 2012 Finance Bill benefited in full from this process but was the longest ever. Is it working?

  • Chair: Francesca Lagerberg Head of UK Tax, Grant Thornton
  • Cerys Morgan Head of Tax Administration, Spending and Reform, HMT
  • Judith Knott Director, Corporation Tax, International, Anti-Avoidance, HMRC
  • Will Morris CBI

Debate: “This house believes that the relationship between HMRC and big business has become too cosy”
Some have argued that big business has become too close to HMRC in administrative and policy matters. With extensive consultation on policy matters, continuous dialogue on administrative matters and many bodies such as the Business Tax Forum is big business now too close for comfort?

  • Chair: Vanessa Houlder Tax Correspondent, Financial Times
  • Proposing: David McNair Head of Growth, Equity and Livelihoods, Save the Children UK; Anthony Thomas former President, CIOT
  • Against: Philip Baker QC, Grey’s Inn Tax Chambers; Ian Young, Manager, International Tax, Tax Faculty, ICAEW

The relationship between tax authority, taxpayer and tax adviser
The UK and the Netherlands have been at the cutting edge of the global move for taxpayers and tax authorities to adopt a collaborate approach based on an open relationship. This session will consider the experience in the UK, the Netherlands and other countries.

  • Chair: Judith Freedman, Professor of Taxation Law, Oxford University
  • Melissa Tatton Director, Large Business Service, HMRC
  • Theo Poolen Dutch tax authorities
  • Klaus Heinz Kroppen Deloitte
  • Stephen Coleclough President, Confédération Fiscale Européenne
  • Jonathan Schwarz, Barrister, Temple Tax Chambers, Visiting Professor, King’s College London
  • Michael Walpole Australian School of Taxation and Business Law, University of New South Wales

Settlements and the exercise of discretion
HMRC has been criticised for the way in which it has settled some major disputes. How can HMRC settle difficult cases in a manner which is fair, seen to be fair and cost effective? How is this done in the US?

  • Chair: Malcolm Gammie QC, One Essex Court
  • Geoff Lloyd Director, Tax Controversy & Risk Management, Ernst & Young
  • Don Korb, previous IRS chief counsel
  • Chris Evans Professor of Taxation, University of New South Wales
  • Jim Harra Director General, Business Tax, HMRC Paul Morton Head of Group Tax, Reed Elsevier

Delegate fees include en-suite accommodation and meals on Thursday 13 and Friday 14 September and are inclusive of VAT; day delegate rates are also available on request. Please see the booking form for our academic and charity rates. Delegates are encouraged to arrive on Thursday 13 September to register, check in to accommodation and meet other attendees (check-in on Friday 14 is not possible until after 12 noon). The conference will commence at 9am on Friday 14 September and conclude by lunchtime on Saturday 15 September.