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Wrong route

13 March 2017
Issue: 4591 / Categories: Tax cases

R (on the application of Archer) v CRC, Queen’s Bench Division, 21 February 2017

Defective closure notice

The taxpayer had been in dispute with HMRC about two tax avoidance schemes for more than ten years. In February 2016 HMRC issued two closure notices under TMA 1970 s 28A. But these did not set out the tax payable even though they did state that the taxpayer’s returns had been amended. The taxpayer applied for judicial review on the ground that the closure notices had not amended his returns in line with s 28A(2)(b). Therefore he owed no further tax.

Mr Judge Jay in the High Court said s 28A required that a closure notice should amend the taxpayer’s return by stating the tax due. This was implicit in the statutory scheme. Section 114(1) could apply but only if there had been an assessment. In this case HMRC’s statement that the taxpayer’s return had been amended could not constitute an assessment...

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