Why can’t HMRC have binding arbitration agreements with other public bodies to save time and money?

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I enjoyed my visit to RSM Tenon this morning.

We had a good debate. Discussion was lively. Not everyone agreed with me - of course. But my opponent - Ian Harris - changed his mind on the duty of companies.

And I was persuaded that the reason why councils litigate is that they genuinely believe on occasion that H M Revenue & Customs are just wrong.

I'm not convinced of that in the Isle of Wight car parking case I referred to - and the people from the Isle of Wight who were present were gracious in discussion - but we had to differ on something.

What was really interesting though was where the discussion lead. My suggestion that councils be barred from litigating was well received - including by the partners at RSM Tenon - on condition that there was a second part to the proposal, which was that HMRC had in that case to offer public bodies speedy binding arbitration instead. Wouldn't that make sense? Just think what the saving to the Exchequer might be if all that wasted effort was avoided - as it could be with this one, simple idea.

Anyone from HMRC like to comment?