This morning the Supreme Court delivered a decision that dismissed the De Silva appeal.
De Silva had appealed that HMRC had used an incorrect enquiry process to invalidate his claim and that his claim should stand. The Supreme Court ruled that HMRC had, in his specific circumstances, acted lawfully.
The Supreme Court also ruled that the Cotter case gives no support to the taxpayers in this appeal, De Silva and those stood behind De Silva.
The LTAG team will be reviewing the judgement with legal counsel in great detail to determine its application to the range of fact patterns LTAG claimants have. We would expect to be in a position to provide guidance to LTAG members in two weeks.
The De Silva claim against HMRC that was heard at the Supreme Court on June 22nd will receive its judgement on Wednesday Nov 15th.
The LTAG team will carefully review this judgement to determine its implications, especially on those who have made carry back claims, and those who are part of S54 agreements with HMRC. We will also review what the judgement may imply for HMRC’s powers of recovery.
To the best of our knowledge there are no other cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal or Supreme Court diaries relating to HMRC’s powers of recovery. The LTAG case will therefore be the deciding case in regard of what HMRC needs to lawfully do in order to recover repayments made to taxpayers.
On November 1st the Supreme Court delivered a final judgement on the long-running case between Littlewoods and HMRC. That case was heard at the Supreme Court in mid-July.
The case related to whether or not over-payments of VAT made by Littlewoods to HMRC, and then refunded by HMRC, should attract simple or compound interest in addition to the capital refunded. The difference to Littlewoods being nearly £1 billion.
The Littlewoods case referred to a number of prior UK & EU cases that it felt showed precedent supporting their case.
The Nov 1st 2017 Supreme Court judgement sided against Littlewoods.
It confirmed that the law in the UK has always been totally clear that interest paid and demanded by HMRC has always been simple interest and not compound interest. It also confirmed that there are no EU laws that override UK laws in regards of payments made by or requested by sovereign government tax agencies.
At LTAG we see this as yet another high profile example of where the law courts do enforce the word of the law where it is abundantly clear what the law says.
We believe the LTAG case is similarly binary. HMRC are, or are not in time to recover repayments made according to statutory limitations.