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Human rights not infringed

08 July 2015
Issue: 4509 / Categories: Tax cases , Avoidance , Investments , Land & property

R (on the application of APVCO 19 Ltd & others) v HM Treasury & another

The taxpayers took part in an avoidance scheme designed to allow them to escape stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on their purchases of residential property.

They applied for judicial review of FA 2013 s 194 which retrospectively amended FA 2003 s 45. They contended that the legislative changes infringed article one of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (A1P1) and article six of the convention.

The High Court refused to allow the taxpayers to cross-examine representatives from the Treasury and HMRC and dismissed the application for review proceedings in respect of the legislative changes.

The case escalated to the Court of Appeal. It said the High Court was “unimpeachable” in its decision to refuse “wholly inappropriate” cross-examination on measures taken in relation to other SDLT schemes.

The appeal court added that A1P1 had not been affected by legislative changes – which were...

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