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Taxpayers will welcome confirmation by the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) that agreements with HMRC may be in full and final settlement without being explicitly labelled as such. However, if relying on this implicit status, taxpayers must carefully analyse the correspondence leading to, and comprising, the agreement to ensure that a valid contract has been made. It would be safer to make it explicit that full and final settlement has been reached.
In this case, the tribunal determined that HMRC could not raise an assessment for tax repaid to the taxpayer (following a claim for overpayment) given that HMRC had implicitly agreed full and final settlement, even though it subsequently transpired that the relevant supplies were taxable, the taxpayer had been right to charge VAT and, had the correct law been applied, HMRC would not have been liable to make the repayment.