Ben Elliott

Ben Elliott

"Hard-working, willing to engage with the technical tax issues in a case and someone who provides clear advice."

Chambers & Partners
  • Call: 2012

Overview

Ben has an extensive tax practice and is described by Chambers and Partners (2022) as a “fluent litigator”, “hard-working” and “someone who provides clear advice.

Ben has a wealth of litigation and advisory experience, including appearing in cases before the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and Court of Justice of the European Union in tax appeals and claims for judicial review which concern corporate, private client and indirect tax issues. Ben also acts and advises in commercial and chancery proceedings with tax aspects, including cases concerning professional negligence, trusts, partnerships, insolvency, family law, and property conveyancing. He also acts and advises in cases concerning other charges, such as business rates and Community Infrastructure Levy.

Ben lectures and writes on a variety of subjects, and has particular specialism in relation to the taxation of cryptoassets and other digital assets. He is the author of the tax chapters in Sport: Law and Practice (Lewis and Taylor, 4th ed) and a contributor to Hamilton on Tax Appeals.

Ben is qualified to accept Public Access instructions. A copy of his privacy notice can be found here.

Corporate and employment tax

A substantial portion of Ben’s practice relates to corporate and employment tax, including areas such as intangible fixed assets, group relief, cryptoassets and digital assets, tonnage tax, mixed member partnerships, managed service companies, the intermediaries legislation (IR35), disguised remuneration (Part 7A), offshore employment income, pensions, penalties, the transactions in securities regime, and cases involving EU law issues (in particular, issues arising following the UK’s exit from the EU).

Recent cases include:

  • Gallaher Limited v HMRC Case C-707/20 and [2020] UKUT 0354 (TCC) – appeal concerning the compatibility of the group transfer provisions and the intangible fixed assets regime with EU law (presently awaiting judgment from the Court of Justice of the European Union).
  • Wroe, Rimmer & Timms v HMRC [2022] UKFTT 00143 (TC) – case concerning the transactions in securities regime in the context of a group restructuring.
  • Redevco Properties UK 1 Ltd v HMRC [2022] UKFTT 00102 (TC) – appeal concerning the compatibility of a corporation tax migration charge with EU law.
  • R (on the application of Sibley) v HMRC [2021] EWHC 3195 (Admin) – judicial review challenge to the Disguised Remuneration Repayment Scheme 2020 (which provides for refunds of the Loan Charge).
  • Sheiling Properties Limited v HMRC [2021] EWCA Civ 1425 – appeal challenging APN penalties and considering the application of the APN legislation in the context of PAYE (presently before the Supreme Court).
  • R (Haworth) v HMRC [2021] UKSC 25 – judicial review challenge to a follower notice and accelerated payment notice issued in relation to gains accruing to an offshore trust on the flotation of a company (Ben was also invited to write an article on the case in Tax Journal).
  • DAARASP LLP and Betex LLP v HMRC [2021] UKUT 0087 (TCC) – tax appeals concerning loss relief claimed by LLPs who had acquired software licences.
  • IM Group Ltd v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 0082 (TC) – appeal in relation to the deduction of expenses of management under section 1219 Corporation Tax Act 2009 relating to donations made by a company to Brexit campaigns.
  • Wired Orthodontics Ltd & ors v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 0290 (TC) and [2020] UKFTT 0290 (TC) – appeal relating to employment income and the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR).
  • Armstrong & Haire Limited v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 0296 (TC) – case involving deductions claimed under the intangible fixed assets regime relating to the amortisation of goodwill.
  • Looney v HMRC [2020] UKUT 0119 (TCC) – case concerning the tax treatment of payments received by a partnership for termination of a business contract.
  • Second Mezzanine Film Fund LLP v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0283 (TC) – appeal concerning loss relief claimed by an LLP for investments in films.
  • Angel Beauty Parlour Limited V HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0247 (TC) – appeal challenging PAYE determinations and NIC decisions concerning the number of employees employed by the business.
  • Christianuyi Ltd and Others v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 474 – appeal concerning the application of the managed service company (MSC) legislation.
  • Turners (Soham) Limited v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0391 (TC) – case concerning deductions for expenditure on tools.
  • Saxton 4×4 Limited v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0009 (TC) – appeal concerning a deduction for contributions to a share incentive plan and the jurisdiction of the First-tier Tribunal.
  • GDF Suez Teesside Ltd (formerly Teesside Power Ltd) v HMRC [2018] EWCA Civ 2075 – appeal involving deductions under the loan relationships regime.
  • B & K Lavery Property Trading Partnership v HMRC [2016] UKUT 0525 (TCC) – case concerning trading deductions relating to the revised valuation of properties.
  • Anderson v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 0335 – challenge to discovery assessment relating to capital gains accruing on the disposal of company shares.
  • Jumbogate Ltd v HMRC[2015] UKFTT 0064 – appeal concerning the employment tax on restricted securities.

Recent advisory work and ongoing litigation includes:

  • Advice on corporate group restructuring for a number of offshore investment funds.
  • Advising on the application of the mixed member partnership legislation.
  • Appeal concerning whether compensation received in relation to an interest rate hedging product (IRHP) constitutes a post-cessation receipt of a partnership.
  • Judicial review relating to the application of the Disguised Remuneration Repayment Scheme 2020 (which provides for refunds of the Loan Charge).
  • Acting in appeals concerning contributions of assets to pension schemes.
  • Advising on the tax treatment of damages, settlement sums and compensation, including compensation for infringement of copyright, damage to property, unfair prejudice to minority shareholders, misselling of financial products, breach of trust and the failure of a public body to carry out its statutory duties.
  • Acting in proceedings involving umbrella companies and contractor loan schemes.
  • Advising on the tax treatment of EFRBS and FURBS.
  • Advising on settlement of employment tax liabilities arising from contributions to employee benefit trusts.
  • Appeal concerning the application of the intangible fixed assets regime concerning deductions claimed for the amortisation of goodwill on the combination of businesses.
  • Acting in proceedings concerning capital allowances and the tonnage tax regime.

Private client

Ben has a diverse private client practice including both advisory work and litigation. Recent work has included the application of double tax treaties, advising on the tax treatment of cryptoassets, tax advice in relation to both UK and offshore trusts, and acting in cases concerning anti-avoidance regimes such as the transfer of assets abroad regime, the settlements legislation and the transactions in securities regime. Ben also advises in relation to tax issues arising in family law proceedings.

Recent cases include:

  • Wroe, Rimmer & Timms v HMRC [2022] UKFTT 00143 (TC) – case concerning the transactions in securities regime in the context of a group restructuring.
  • Lenagan & ors v HMRC [2022] UKFTT 00034 (TC) – application of the UK/Mauritius double taxation treaty to gains arising to offshore trusts.
  • Fisher v HMRC – appeal concerning the transfer of assets abroad regime (presently before the Supreme Court).
  • HMRC v Mattu [2021] UKUT 0245 (TCC) – An application for a tax-related penalty under Schedule 36 Finance Act 2008. The case concerned consideration of the transfer of assets abroad regime, the settlements legislation and the remittance basis, as well as capital gains tax in relation to transactions undertaken by an offshore trust and offshore companies.
  • Murphy and Linnett v HMRC [2021] EWHC 1914 (Admin) – an application for judicial review concerning the interpretation of extra-statutory concession B18 which provides relief for distributions out of non-UK resident discretionary trusts.
  • R (Haworth) v HMRC [2021] UKSC 25 – an application for judicial review challenging a follower notice and accelerated payment notice issued in relation to gains accruing to an offshore trust (Ben was also invited to write an article on the case in Tax Journal).
  • Accuro Trust Switzerland SA v HMRC (First-tier Tribunal) – appeal concerning the definition of relevant property and excluded property in the context of an offshore trust.
  • Looney v HMRC [2020] UKUT 0119 (TCC) – case concerning the treatment of settlement payments received by on the termination of contract.
  • The Trustees of the Panico Panayi Accumulation and Maintenance Settlements v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0622 (TC) – appeal concerning capital gains tax on the migration of a trust from the UK to Cyprus and the compatibility of the charge with EU law.
  • Second Mezzanine Film Fund LLP v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0283 (TC) – appeal concerning loss relief claimed by an LLP for investments in films.
  • Anderson v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 0335 – challenge to discovery assessment issued in relation to disposal of company shares.

Recent advice and ongoing cases include:

  • Advice on statutory residence and domicile.
  • Acting in appeal concerning the ownership of a joint bank account for inheritance purposes.
  • Advising on inheritance tax reliefs, including BPR and APR.
  • Advice on tax issues in relation to a claim for child support and maintenance payments.
  • Advising a number of trusts on the application of the relevant property regime to distributions and resettlements.
  • Advising on capital gains tax reliefs, including business asset disposal relief /entrepreneurs’ relief, hold-over relief and roll-over relief.
  • An appeal concerning the application of the transfer of assets abroad regime and a number of offshore trusts.
  • A judicial review and related tax appeal relating to the application of the settlements legislation, the transfer of assets abroad legislation and the attribution of chargeable gains accruing to an offshore trust.
  • Acting in proceedings concerning inheritance tax and national heritage assets.

VAT and indirect tax

Ben has considerable indirect tax expertise, in particular in relation to VAT, SDLT, Land Transaction Tax, gaming duty, excise duty and customs duty, including penalties, surcharges and ancillary decisions (such as restoration of seized goods and revocation of approvals/licences).

Recent indirect cases include:

    • Telent Technology Services Limited v HMRC [2022] UKFTT 00147 (TC) – appeal concerning a claim for recovery of input VAT on investment advisor fees and the application of cause of action estoppel, issue estoppel and abuse of process.
    • Albert House Property Finance PCC Ltd & Vale Property Finance PPC Ltd v HMRC [2020] UKUT 0373 (TCC) – SDLT appeal concerning sub-sale relief and section 75A FA 2003.
    • Eclipse Consulting Ltd v HMRC (First-tier Tribunal) – appeal concerning the recovery of input VAT on professional fees.
    • Salim Ahmed v HMRC (First-tier Tribunal) – excise duty appeal
    • KAST Enterprises Limited v HMRC (First-tier Tribunal) – appeal challenging the revocation of approval as a registered dealer in controlled oils (in the context of selling red diesel).
    • Visockas v HMRC [2021] UKFTT 0168 (TC) – excise duty appeal.
    • Taylor Pearson (Construction) Ltd v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0691 (TC) – appeal concerning the recovery of input VAT on professional fees.
    • Cirko v HMRC [2019] UKFTT 0482 (TC) – excise duty appeal.
    • Liberty Wines Limited v Director of Border Revenue [2018] UKFTT 0372 (TC) – challenge to refusal to restore seized excise goods and claim for costs.
    • First Agency Limited v HMRC [2018] UKFTT 0391(TC) – claim for overpaid VAT concerning bad debt relief and the time limit for making a claim.
    • B & M Retail Limited v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 0789 (TC) – application for disclosure in the context of an excise duty appeal.
    • United Wholesale (Scotland) Limited v HMRC [2017] UKFTT 70 (TC) – challenge to refusal to restore excise goods.
    • Mohamed and ors v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2455 (Admin) – judicial review challenge to HMRC decision to refuse to agree time to pay SDLT liabilities.

Recent advisory work and ongoing litigation includes:

  • Acting in an gaming duty appeal concerning the application of losses and HMRC agreeing to a non-standard accounting period.
  • Advising on Land Transaction Tax in relation to student accommodation.
  • Appeals concerning the customs classification of ceramics and electronic items.
  • VAT appeal on the recovery of input VAT and whether the business carried on constituted an economic activity.
  • Customs duty appeal concerning buying commission.
  • Advice on linked transactions in the context of SDLT.
  • Advising on the VAT treatment of compensation received in relation to breach of copyright and damage to property.

Public law

Ben has extensive experience of judicial review proceedings involving tax issues, in particular in cases concerning HMRC’s information powers, APNs and follower notices, the Disguised Remuneration Repayment Scheme 2020 and the Loan Charge, and HMRC’s enforcement and seizure powers.

Recent cases include:

  • R (on the application of Sibley) v HMRC [2021] EWHC 3195 (Admin) – judicial review challenge to the Disguised Remuneration Repayment Scheme 2020 (which provides for refunds of the Loan Charge)
  • R (Haworth) v HMRC [2021] UKSC 25 – Judicial review challenge to a follower notice and accelerated payment notice issued in relation to gains accruing to an offshore trust on the flotation of company (Ben was also invited to write an article on the case in Tax Journal).
  • Murphy and Linnett v HMRC [2021] EWHC 1914 (Admin) – an application for judicial review concerning the interpretation of extra-statutory concession B18 which provides relief for distributions out of non-UK resident discretionary trusts.
  • The Queen on the application of PML Accounting Limited v HMRC [2018] EWCA Civ 2231 – challenge to HMRC refusal to destroy information derived from an information notice.
  • Hillingdon LBC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2018] EWHC 845 (Admin) – claim for judicial review concerning the validity of a demand notice issued under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.
  • Plutus UK Bulk Store Limited v HMRC (Administrative Court) – application for an interim injunction to prevent HMRC destroying seized excise goods.
  • Biffin Limited and ors v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2926 (Admin) – claim for judicial review challenging HMRC decision to enforce liabilities that were subject to appeals.
  • Mohamed and ors v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2455 (Admin) – judicial review challenge to HMRC decision refusing to agree time to pay SDLT liabilities.

Insolvency and enforcement

Ben has significant experience acting and advising in relation insolvency and enforcement cases, in particular in matters involving tax liabilities. Ben’s work includes:

  • Acting for petitioning creditors and debtors in both bankruptcy and winding up proceedings.
  • Acting for both claims and defendants in claims by companies against directors, in particular in cases involving historic tax liabilities.
  • Advising liquidators on the validity of tax (and other) liabilities claimed in liquidation.
  • Directors disqualification proceedings.
  • Acting for liquidators in tax appeals and other proceedings.
  • Negotiating time to pay agreements.
  • Civil claims in which tax issues arise.
  • Proceedings involving the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • Advising and acting in cases concerning APNs and follower notices.
  • Penalties (including penalties for refusal to comply with information notices).

Recent cases include:

  • Hillingdon LBC v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2018] EWHC 845 (Admin) – claim for judicial review concerning the validity of a demand notice issued under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.
  • Biffin Limited and ors v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2926 (Admin) – claim for judicial review challenging HMRC decision to enforce liabilities that were subject to appeals.
  • Mohamed and ors v HMRC [2016] EWHC 2455 (Admin) – judicial review challenge to HMRC decision refusing to agree time to pay SDLT liabilities.

Professional negligence

Ben acts and advises in relation to professional negligence disputes, particularly those concerning tax-related issues. He acts for both claimants and defendants in cases concerning a variety of subjects including:

  • Incorrect trust drafting leading to additional inheritance tax liabilities.
  • Failure to make claims within time limits.
  • Failure to draw attention to applicable extra-statutory concessions.
  • Incorrect advice in relation to capital gains tax relief.
  • Failed tax planning (including tax avoidance arrangements and estate planning).

Ben also acts in cases in which professionals are seeking to rectify errors, including setting aside for mistake claims, rectification, and variations under the Variations of Trusts Act 1958.

Career & education

Career

  • 2012: Called to the Bar (Middle Temple)
  • October 2013: Pupillage, Pump Court Tax Chambers
  • July 2014 – October 2014: Seconded to HM Revenue & Customs Solicitors
  • October 2014: Tenant, Pump Court Tax Chambers
  • December 2014 – March 2015: Seconded to PwC Legal LLP (Tax Litigation Team)
  • February 2017: Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “C” panel
  • August 2020: Appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown – “B” panel

Education

  • 2007-10 – History BA (Double First) – St John’s College, Oxford
  • 2010-11 – Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction) – College of Law, London
  • 2011-12 – Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding) – College of Law, London
  • 2010-12 – LL.B. (First Class) – College of Law, London

Scholarships & Prizes

  • Casberd Scholarship – St John’s College, Oxford (2008)
  • Astbury Scholarship – Middle Temple (2010)
  • Queen Mother Scholarship – Middle Temple (2011)
  • Certificate of Honour – Middle Temple (2012)
Menu