04 November 2021

R (on the application of Sibley) v HMRC; (High Court)

The taxpayer had settled tax liabilities arising from certain loan arrangements. He then sought a repayment under the Disguised Remuneration Repayment Scheme (established under FA 2020) of the sums paid. HMRC refused the repayment claim on the basis that one of the conditions in the Scheme was not satisfied, the condition being that the loans in question were not outstanding on the date of the settlement. The taxpayer applied for permission to bring a claim for judicial review challenging HMRC’s decision primarily on the ground that the terms of the Scheme unlawfully frustrated the legislative purpose for which its powers were granted and usurped Parliament’s function. The Administrative Court refused permission holding that, in enacting sections 20 and 21 FA 2020 and directing HMRC to create the Scheme, Parliament had expressly granted HMRC a broad discretion both as to the substantive conditions under which repayment would be made and as to the procedural and formal requirements for applications under the Scheme.

To see the approved decision, click here.

Ben Elliott (instructed by HMRC) appeared on behalf of the Defendant.