Litigation Team Success

1st Jun 2017

Our litigation team has had a major success in the First Tier Tax Tribunal

It concerns a decision of HMRC to treat a husband’s business and wife’s business as one entity. This put the combined income of the businesses at a level that was above the VAT registration threshold for a number of years. This in turn led to an assessment against the Husband and Wife for hundreds of thousands of pounds of unpaid VAT.

Husband & Wife single entity cases are of particular interest. Peter Hastings adds “This case is of particular importance in that it:

(a) Highlighted a failure by HMRC Officers to follow their own guidance when assessing husband and wife cases.

(b) Highlights the need to HMRC Officers to confirm a person’s intention when they organise a business

(c) Addresses other factors that are important to the issue of whether businesses are separate or one entity, including whether a decision to sell would be taken by one person, or both husband and wife, and also matters such as hiring and dismissing staff

(d) Correctly approaches the matter applying an EU Directive and the leading ECJ case of Christine Nigl and Others v Finanzamt Waldviertel (Case C340/15), often overlooked in single entity cases”

Peter adds “We addressed each and every point that HMRC relied on including adducing evidence dating back to 1991. Attention to detail combined with a measured approach in evidence was crucial. Further the advocacy of Marc Glover (counsel at Tanfield Chambers) was excellent”.

You can find the decision report here.

Should you have similar issues or concerns then you can contact Peter and his team on 01603 675639 or at