A deliberate Cliff hanger

Satvi Vepa asks whether the decision in Cliff v HMRC, which has broadened the meaning of ‘deliberate’ in the context of discovery assessments, need clarifying

In 2019, we saw a number of cases directly addressing the culpability of taxpayers and, in particular, the meaning of deliberate in the context of discovery assessments (Taxes Management Act (TMA) 1970 ss 29(4) and 36) and the imposition of penalties for errors (Finance Act (FA) 2007 Sch 24). 

A broader meaning of deliberate in the context of this legislation could have serious consequences for taxpayers, as it would give HMRC wide powers to raise discovery assessments, impose a higher percentage of non-suspendable penalties and extend the time limits available in which to raise such discovery assessments and impose such penalties.