Obtaining tax legal advice


One of the many services solicitors offer is tax law advice. Tax law advice is not only for large multinational corporations - individuals and small businesses can also benefit from tailored tax advice.

Whilst usually private contractors, individuals of high net worth and other persons who have unusual tax situations will benefit most, anyone who is proposing to buy or sell real property or assets of any substantial value should receive advice.

Appropriately planning or structuring a transaction can substantially impact on the amount of tax payable.

The importance of tax advice

An example of a situation where a company could have benefited from specialist tax legal advice from reputable tax solicitors can be seen in the case of Hurlingham Estates Ltd v Wilde & Partners.

  • The claimant in this case was a company that acquired specific assets through a complex financing deal. As a result of the transaction certain tax liabilities arose
  • The company only relied on the advice of one law firm (the defendant) in order to complete the deal and it was therefore the responsibility of that firm to ensure that the company was aware of its tax liabilities
  • However, proper legal advice was never given to the company and as a result it suffered a loss and brought an action for professional negligence, in which it was successful

You should always take advice if you are at all unsure about any component of UK tax law. Ignorance is no defence if you are taken to court because HMRC believe the information you included on a tax return for instance is inaccurate.

You may use an accountant to complete your tax returns, but you still have to sign these returns to state that they are a true and accurate representation of your current tax situation. Any tax law advice that you act upon is your responsibility. HMRC will look to you for any clarification of any ambiguous areas of your tax affairs.

Finding a tax solicitor

If you require advice you should speak to a reputable tax solicitor. The advice provided by a legal professional can help you to minimise your tax liability and structure your finances and transactions in the most tax-effective way.

As an added layer of security, if it later becomes apparent that the legal tax advice was negligent, you may be able to reclaim any losses you suffer from the solicitor through a negligence claim. It is important, however, that you seek advice from a solicitor who is familiar with the type of tax that applies to you (e.g. personal, company etc.) and on the scale you require.

Do you have a tax issue for which you require the services of a specialist tax lawyer? Contact Law can put you in touch with an expert in the field you require to give you the advice you need. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above and we will call you back.

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