04 January 2021

Albert House & Vale Property V HMRC; (UT)

The taxpayers had sought to withdraw their appeals against SDLT assessments and closure notices under paragraph 37(4) Schedule 10 FA 2003. They had also applied to the First-tier Tribunal requesting that it exercise its discretion to strike out or determine the appeals. Before the First-tier Tribunal, HMRC successfully opposed the applications on the basis that they had validly objected to the withdrawal of the appeals under paragraph 37(4)(b) and the First-tier Tribunal should not exercise any discretion to determine the appeals.

The Upper Tribunal dismissed the taxpayers’ appeals holding that:

(1)  Notwithstanding that HMRC had not given notice directly to the taxpayers (but had sent notice via the Tribunal), they had validly given notice under paragraph 37(4)(b) because the taxpayers had received the objections;
(2)  The First-tier Tribunal had correctly decided that it had a duty to determine whether the assessments overcharged the taxpayers to tax (applying HMRC v CM Utilities Ltd [2017] UKUT 305 (TCC)) and there was no error in the First-tier Tribunal’s exercise of its discretion.

Ben Elliott, counsel, instructed by the General Counsel and Solicitor for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, for the Respondents.

To see the approved decision, click here.