Case reports

Tax / HMRC disputes own calculations

HMRC has won a £3.1m case at a First Tier Tribunal (FTT) where part of the argument centred on whether or not the tax authority could challenge calculations derived from third party software developed to meet its own technical specifications, which may have implications for Making Tax Digital implementations

Tax / CJEU says member states should stop tax ‘fishing’ requests

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has handed down a ruling that the courts of one member state may review the legality of requests for tax information sent by another member state, but cannot conduct ‘fishing’ requests which are devoid of any foreseeable relevance to the tax investigation concerned

Tax / FTT dismisses latest Gold Nuts enquiry appeal

In the latest tribunal case involving a company called Gold Nuts Ltd and its appeals against HMRC’s enquiries in relation to a corporation tax investigation, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) has refused a request for a postponement, decided not to direct closure of any enquiries and dismissed appeals against information notices

Tax / Case: no evidence information notice was sent and it was not valid anyway

In Anstock [2017] TC 05784, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed a taxpayer’s appeal against an information notice, finding that there was no evidence that the notice had been sent or received and it did not contain precise, clear and unambiguous requests for information so was not valid

Tax / Case: ‘Excalibur’ tax avoidance scheme fails before FTT

A First Tier Tribunal (FTT) has dismissed an appeal against HMRC’s refusal of claims to a capital loss and to relief against income tax in respect of that loss, but allowed the appellant’s appeal against HMRC’s conclusion that a loan waiver, to wind up a scheme, was subject to income tax

Tax / Case: daily penalties cancelled due to lack of evidence

In Islam t/a Zainub Takeway [2017] TC 05814, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed a taxpayer’s appeal against daily late filing penalties because of a lack of evidence, but dismissed the appeal against the initial £100 late filing penalty because the taxpayer did not have a reasonable excuse

Tax / Banker loses case over £57k taken under UK-Swiss tax agreement

A Swedish banker who had £57,000 taken from her bank account by Credit Suisse to comply with the requirements of the former UK-Swiss tax cooperation agreement has lost a claim in the High Court for a refund of most of the levy from HMRC on the grounds that the amount of tax in dispute was under £7,000

Tax / Case: loyalty scheme payment was not third-party consideration for VAT

In Marriott Rewards LLC [2017] TC 05634, HMRC successfully rejected a repayment claim for those in business overseas with the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) holding that certain services were not connected with immovable property and were not advertising services, with the services relating to loyalty-reward stays

Tax / HMRC wins appeal over VAT on holiday park’s electricity supply

HMRC has won at the Court of Appeal in a long-running argument with a provider of caravan holiday parks over the question of whether the reduced rate for VAT on supplies of fuel applies

Tax / Case: holdover relief denied on business asset gift

A First Tier Tribunal (FTT) dismissed an appeal against the disallowance of a hold-over claim as the company was controlled by persons not resident in the UK

Tax / Case: Court of Appeal upholds earlier decisions on film partnerships

The Court of Appeal upheld the previous Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal decisions that film partnerships were not trading therefore their claim for tax relief was refused

Tax / CJEU rules in favour of VAT exemption for educational catering and performance

UK schools and colleges stand to benefit from a VAT windfall after the European Court of justice (CJEU) confirmed that catering sales in training restaurants at educational establishments and admission charges to theatrical performances by students should be deemed services closely related to the provision of education, and so are exempt from VAT

Tax / Case: determination of facts in earlier tax year not binding

Stuart Gulliver, group chief executive of HSBC, has his application of a closure notice on the tax year 2013-14 refused after it is concluded that he had a Hong Kong domicile of choice

Tax / Case: tribunal rules in favour of taxpayer over principal private residence relief

A First Tier Tribunal (FTT) ruled in favour of the taxpayer after finding that principal residence relief (PRR) should be available to relieve from capital gains tax (CGT) on disposal of the apartment 

Tax / Jazztel plc v HMRC: High Court ruling in Stamp Taxes GLO

The stamp taxes group litigation order (GLO) in the Jazztel dispute over charges of higher rate stamp duty reserve tax provides a useful illustration of the UK's treatment of legislation found to be incompatible with EU law. Despite the High Court ruling, Joseph Irwin of Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP says the issue is still not resolved