Latest by Constantine Christofi

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Box – child benefit charge interpreted as 'income' for the purpose of discovery assessments

Published on 14 October 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Martin Richard Box v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 353 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) dismissed a taxpayer's appeal concerning liability to pay the high-income child benefit (HICB) charge, on the basis that the charge constituted income for the purpose of discovery assessments.

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Tax Bites - October 2020

Published on 01 October 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of RPC's Tax Bites - providing monthly bite-sized updates from the tax world.

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RBS – HMRC's application for specific disclosure refused

Published on 30 September 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 321 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) refused an application by HMRC for a direction requiring the taxpayer to provide specific disclosure.

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Contentious tax: quarterly review - September 2020

Published on 29 September 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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The increased flow of information and data to HMRC under the common reporting standard (CRS) has prompted a flurry of so-called ‘nudge’ letters to be issued by HMRC to taxpayers whose offshore affairs it considers may not be in order.

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Ahmed - HMRC cannot 'refresh' penalty time limit  by reissuing information notices

Published on 23 September 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Salim Ahmed v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 337 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed the taxpayer’s appeal against a penalty for failing to comply with an information notice because the penalty notice was not issued within 12 months of the taxpayer becoming liable to a penalty and HMRC could not refresh the time period by issuing a subsequent information notice which merely repeated earlier information notices.

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Tax Bites - September 2020

Published on 03 September 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of RPC's Tax Bites - providing monthly bite-sized updates from the tax world.

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Archer: No reasonable excuse

Published on 19 August 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In William Archer v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 0288 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) confirmed that surcharge notices had been validly issued and that the taxpayer did not have a 'reasonable excuse' for non-payment as a result of his related judicial review claim.

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Michael Vaughan - High Court declines to rectify contract to prevent tax charge

Published on 12 August 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In (1) MV Promotions Ltd (2) Michael Vaughan v (1) Telegraph Media Group Ltd (2) HMRC [2020] EWHC 1357 (Ch), the High Court elected not to exercise its discretion to rectify a provision in a contract for services, despite a mutual mistake rendering one party liable for additional tax.

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Tax Bites - August 2020

Published on 06 August 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of RPC's Tax Bites - providing monthly bite-sized updates from the tax world.

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Royal Bank of Canada – Canadian bank liable to pay UK tax on assigned oil royalties

Published on 05 August 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Royal Bank of Canada v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 267 (TC) the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that a Canadian bank was subject to UK tax on royalties assigned to it following its oil company creditor entering receivership.

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Sheiling - Belief in procedural invalidity of APN can constitute reasonable excuse

Published on 22 July 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Sheiling Properties Ltd v HMRC [2020] UKUT 175 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT), in dismissing an appeal against penalties for non-payment of accelerated payment notices (APNs), confirmed that a reasonable belief that the APNs were invalid could constitute a reasonable excuse for non-payment.

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Tax Bites - July 2020

Published on 02 July 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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Welcome to the latest edition of RPC's Tax Bites - providing monthly bite-sized updates from the tax world.

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Bella Figura – Unauthorised payment charge set aside

Published on 01 July 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Bella Figura [2020] UKUT, the Upper Tribunal (UT) held that a scheme sanction charge stood as a valid assessment and partially allowed the taxpayer's cross-appeal, setting aside HMRC's assessments of an unauthorised payments charge and surcharge as being out of time.

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Sippchoice – Allowable contributions to a SIPP are restricted to payments of money

Published on 24 June 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Sippchoice Ltd [2020] UKUT 0149 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has allowed HMRC’s appeal and confirmed that 'contributions paid' to a SIPP are restricted to contributions of money and do not encompass transfers of non-monetary assets.

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Partners and closure notices: making amends

Published on 10 June 2020. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In R (on the application of Amrolia) v HMRC; R (on the application of Ranjit-Singh) v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 488, the Court of Appeal held that notices amending individual partners’ tax returns under section 28B(4), Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA), were not closure notices and therefore did not need to specify the final amounts of tax due.

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Looney – Termination payments were trading receipts

Published on 13 May 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Kieran Looney & Anor v HMRC [2020] UKUT 0119 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has dismissed an appeal against the First-tier Tribunal's (FTT) decision that a termination payment and other payments made under a contract entered into by a partnership to provide management training, were trading receipts of a partnership.

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Coyle – Upper Tribunal refuses permission to appeal out of time

Published on 06 May 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Michael Coyle t/a Coyle Transport v HMRC [2020] UKUT 0113 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) set aside the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) for errors of law, but reached the same conclusion as the FTT and refused the taxpayer permission to appeal out of time.

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Higgs – FTT lacks jurisdiction to disapply the PAYE Regulations

Published on 15 April 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Philip Higgs and Others v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 117 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) determined that it did not have jurisdiction to determine whether HMRC is entitled to exercise a discretion under section 684(7A), ITEPA, to disapply the PAYE Regulations.

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Booth – Penalty appeal struck out

Published on 01 April 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In CF Booth Ltd v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 35 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) struck out the taxpayer's appeal against penalties imposed for deliberate inaccuracies in its VAT returns, on the basis that the appeal amounted to an 'abuse of process'.

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Credit Suisse: Appeal allowed as HMRC had failed to open a valid enquiry

Published on 25 March 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Ltd and others v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 86 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed a company's appeal against a closure notice on the grounds that HMRC had not issued a valid notice of enquiry.

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McMillan – Gambling proceeds not taxable income

Published on 18 March 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In McMillan v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 0082 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that proceeds of gambling were not taxable income.

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MXC Dunlin – Interest due on repayments of tax paid in the 1980s

Published on 26 February 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In MCX Dunlin (UK) Ltd v HMRC [2020] EWHC 11 (Ch), the High Court has held that interest was due on repayments of liabilities to petroleum revenue tax (PRT) dating from the 1980s, which had been met by crediting advance PRT (APRT).

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Devon Waste Management – Waste firms win appeal in landfill 'fluff' case

Published on 05 February 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Devon Waste Management Ltd and Others v HMRC [2020] UKUT 1 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that the disposal of certain waste materials did not attract a charge to landfill tax.

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Lloyd-Webber – capital gains losses allowed over properties which were never completed

Published on 29 January 2020. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Lloyd-Webber and another v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 717 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that a payment made under a contract for the acquisition of land was for the acquisition of contractual rights, rather than for the land, giving rise to an allowable loss on termination of the contract.

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Jafari – HMRC criticised for breach of its duty to assist the Tribunal

Published on 18 December 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Jafari v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 692 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) criticised HMRC for failing in its duty to bring relevant authorities to its attention.

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Contentious tax quarterly review (Q4 2019)

Published on 16 December 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In this quarterly review we consider: HMRC’s increasing propensity to seek to strike out the taxpayer’s case; recent developments in relation to IR35; the timing of tribunal decisions; and the potential implications of the Inverclyde decision.

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Knibbs – HMRC's challenge to carry-back loss relief claims was correct

Published on 11 December 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Knibbs and ors v HMRC and R (oao Astley and ors) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1719, the Court of Appeal has held that Schedule 1B, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA) can apply to a claim for carry-back loss relief.

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Aozora GMAC Investment Ltd – HMRC did not breach a taxpayer's legitimate expectation

Published on 20 November 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In R (oao Aozora GMAC Investment Ltd) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1643, the Court of Appeal has dismissed the taxpayer's claim that a statement in HMRC’s International Manual created a legitimate expectation, because the taxpayer had not relied on it substantively and, even if it had done, there was insufficient "unfairness" in frustrating the taxpayer's expectation.

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First Choice – HMRC ordered to pay taxpayer's costs as a result of its unreasonable behaviour

Published on 13 November 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In First Choice Recruitment Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 412 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) held that the taxpayer was entitled to its costs because HMRC had acted unreasonably.

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Cliff: Tax tribunal considers the meaning of ‘deliberate’

Published on 06 November 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Cliff v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 564, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that the taxpayer had 'deliberately' submitted an inaccurate return to HMRC.

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Leeds Cricket Football & Athletic Co Ltd – business with attached goodwill disposed of

Published on 16 October 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In The Leeds Cricket Football & Athletic Company Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0568 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that the freehold in a cricket ground involved the disposal of a business with attached goodwill and was not simply a disposal of land with attached income streams.

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JJ Management: No need to stand on formalities

Published on 09 October 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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It would appear from the decision of the High Court in R (oao JJ Management LLP and Ors) v HMRC [2019] EWHC 2006 (Admin), that HMRC can conduct informal enquiries outside of section 9A, Taxes Management 1970 (TMA).

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Tax update October 2019

Published on 03 October 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In this month’s update we report on (1) the independent review of the disguised remuneration loan charge; (2) HMRC’s guidance on preparing for the off-payroll working changes which come into effect from April 2020; and (3) HMRC’s updated guidance on the tax registration of non-resident companies. We also comment on three recent cases relating to (1) an application for final and partial closure notices; (2) the validity of an enquiry; and (3) pre-entry loss rules.

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Rialas – Transfer of assets abroad provisions did not apply

Published on 02 October 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Rialas v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 520, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has found that the transfer of assets abroad (TOAA) provisions, originally contained in section 739 et seq, Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (ICTA) did not apply.

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Draft Finance Bill 2019/20: HMRC’s new insolvency powers

Published on 27 September 2019. By Robert Waterson, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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Piercing the corporate veil? Robert Waterson and Constantine Christofi review the draft provisions that will empower HMRC to issue joint liability notices. (This article was originally posted on Tax Journal)

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Tinkler - Notice of enquiry invalid

Published on 19 September 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Tinkler v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 1392, the Court of Appeal has allowed the taxpayer's appeal and held that HMRC's notice of enquiry under section 9A, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA), was invalid.

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Levy – Tribunal rejects application for final and partial closure notices

Published on 30 August 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In The Executors of Mrs R W Levy v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 418 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT), has held that HMRC was not in a position to issue either a final or partial closure notice.

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Haworth – Court of Appeal confirms HMRC misdirected itself and quashes payment notices

Published on 03 July 2019. By Adam Craggs, Partner and Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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The recent unanimous judgment of the Court of Appeal in R (on the application of Haworth) v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 747, is the first successful judicial review challenge against follower and accelerated payment notices. The decision throws into question the way in which the relevant statutory provisions, contained in Finance Act 2014 (FA 2014), relating to follower and accelerated payment notices have been interpreted and operated by HMRC and as a consequence, many other notices may also have been issued by HMRC unlawfully.

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Ritchie - FTT guilty of procedural unfairness

Published on 26 June 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Ritchie v HMRC [2019] UKUT 007 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) had erred in finding that a loss of tax had been brought about by carelessness on the part of the taxpayers' professional advisers because, amongst other things, the carelessness of the advisers had not been adequately pleaded by HMRC and had not been put to any of the witnesses in cross-examination.

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Derry - HMRC challenge to share loss relief claim flawed

Published on 18 June 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In R (on the application of Derry) v HMRC [2019] UKSC 19, the Supreme Court has dismissed HMRC's appeal and confirmed that the taxpayer was entitled to claim share loss relief in the year in which the loss was incurred, rather than the following year.

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Hargreaves: Even staler!

Published on 29 April 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Hargreaves v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0244 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has again found that HMRC's discovery of an underpayment of tax had become 'stale' and accordingly the subsequent assessment issued under section 29, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA) was invalid.

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Macleod – insurance premiums paid not earnings from taxpayer's employment

Published on 15 April 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Macleod and Mitchell Contractors Limited and William Mitchell v HMRC [2019] UKUT 0046 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that insurance premiums paid by the company on policies taken out in the sole director's name were not earnings from employment.

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When does delay by HMRC render a discovery assessment invalid?

Published on 07 March 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In the recent case of Clive Beagles v HMRC [2018] UKUT 380 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) held that a delay of nearly two and a half years between (i) HMRC discovering that a taxpayer's self-assessment tax return was insufficient and (ii) HMRC issuing an assessment, was too long. As the discovery had become 'stale' by the time of the assessment, the assessment was invalid.

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Hymanson – HMRC's decision to revoke the taxpayer's fixed protection was unreasonable

Published on 11 February 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In G Hymanson v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 667, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that HMRC’s decision to revoke the taxpayer's fixed protection was unreasonable and directed that it be reinstated. In so finding, the FTT applied the equitable maxim ‘that which should be done should be treated as having been done’.

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Wilsons – HMRC unable to obtain law firm's records

Published on 04 February 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Wilsons Solicitors LLP v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 627 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that the obligation to keep records under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (MLR) does not make a law firm a relevant data-holder for the purposes of HMRC's data-gathering powers.

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Banks: A real Brexit tax

Published on 21 January 2019. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In A Banks v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 617, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) heard an appeal by Mr Arron Banks against HMRC's decision to deny him relief on certain donations he and his companies had made to the UK Independence Party (UKIP). The FTT decided that his rights had been infringed under the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention) but there was nothing it could do to remedy that infringement.

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Addo - Disclosure against HMRC in tax appeals

Published on 20 December 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Addo v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 530 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) considered the principles governing disclosure in the context of appeals before the FTT. This blog is based on an article which was first published in Tax Journal on 22 November 2018. RPC acted for the taxpayer in this case.

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Livery business qualifies for BPR for IHT purposes

Published on 05 December 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In HMRC v Personal Representatives of the Estate of Maureen M Vigne [2018] UKUT 357 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT), in dismissing HMRC's appeal, has confirmed that a livery business attracted business property relief (BPR) under section 105, Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (IHTA), as the business did not consist of wholly or mainly in making or holding investments.

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Reeves - CGT holdover relief available where transferor is foreign controller of transferee

Published on 25 October 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Reeves v HMRC [2018] UKUT 293 (TCC), the Upper Tribunal (UT) has held that a non-resident taxpayer was entitled to holdover relief from capital gains tax (CGT) on a disposal he had made when he gifted his interest in a limited liability partnership (LLP) to a UK-resident company, of which he was the sole shareholder.

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Expion: No valid determination of penalties by HMRC

Published on 24 September 2018. By Constantine Christofi, Senior Associate

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In Expion Silverstone Ltd v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0460 (TC), the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) has held that no valid determination was made by an officer of the board under section 100, Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA), in respect of penalties issued following the failure to file Employment Intermediaries returns.

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