UK tax update October 2023
- Information notices: in the case of A Foreign National v HMRC, the First-Tier Tax Tribunal upheld a schedule 36 notice issued by HMRC to a non-resident landlord, rejecting the taxpayer's arguments that (i) HMRC’s previous issue of a jeopardy amendment meant that HMRC could not reasonably require further information and (ii) the notice in fact related to the taxpayer's family or amounted to a fishing expedition.
- Artificial tax planning: the Court of Appeal made it clear (in Bhaur v Equity First Trustees) that the courts are unlikely to set aside a transaction on the grounds of mistake, where a claimant entered into the transaction for artificial tax planning purposes but mispredicted or mistook the tax consequences that followed – even where the financial consequences for the claimant are serious.
- Beneficial ownership registers: whereas the European Court of Justice struck down public access to beneficial ownership registers in late 2022, the UK government has confirmed it has no plans to change its approach to the UK’s Register of Overseas Entities.
- Bill of Rights: the Government has announced that it is giving up on its proposal to repeal the Human Rights Act (which incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law and makes it directly enforceable in UK courts).
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Quentin Oyon is a seconded lawyer at Macfarlanes from a Swiss law firm.