Nicholas Scott

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Greenwoods GRM advises on successful Supreme Court Tax case

news / 13 May 2019

Greenwoods GRM LLP was delighted to advise on the Supreme Court case of R (on the application of Derry) (Respondent) v. Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Appellant) [2019] UKSC 19.

Nick Scott, Partner in our Disputes team, acted for the successful taxpayer. The case explored the limits of HMRC’s ability to recover, in later years, tax relief claimed on share losses already granted further to a prior year’s tax return.

The Supreme Court held that the taxpayer had correctly included his loss relief claim in his self-assessment tax return for the year preceding his loss. HMRC failed to issue an enquiry into that self-assessment with the result that the tax year was closed and final. However, HMRC amended Mr Derry’s tax return to create a tax liability but in circumstances where he had no access to the normal closure notice and appeal process. Consequently, Mr Derry’s only option was to pursue a judicial review. The effect of the Supreme Court’s decision is that HMRC had no legal authority in the circumstances either to amend Mr Derry’s tax return or to demand tax from him.

Nick Scott said: “We are delighted to have been part of the team that achieved this significant victory for our client.”

To discuss how we can help you resolve your tax disputes, get in touch with Nick on

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