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Racehorse disappoints

12 January 2015
Issue: 4484 / Categories: Tax cases , Admin , Self assessment

ELJ McMorris (TC4204)

The taxpayer bought a half-share in a racehorse in February 2010 and agreed to meet half the costs of training livery and racing.

The animal was successful initially and the owners turned down an offer of £50 000 from a potential buyer. The accomplishment was short-lived; the owners sold the horse in summer of 2011 for around £1 000 of which the taxpayer received half.

He claimed loss relief in his 2010/11 tax return in respect of self-employment which he described as “racehorse”. HMRC refused the claim on the ground that owning a horse was a hobby not a trade.

The taxpayer appealed.

The First-tier Tribunal referred to the badges of trade described by Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson in Marson v Morton [1986] STC 463.

The deal in the instant case was a one-off transaction. The taxpayer had not borrowed money for the venture there was...

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