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Fourth hearing of Atholl House Production Ltd

02 January 2024 / Dave Chaplin , Chris Leslie
Issue: 4918 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , BBC , HMRC , IR35 , Admin
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Rough tax justice – almost again

Key points

  • Why has it taken so long to resolve the appeal in Atholl House Productions Ltd?
  • Over-dependence on HMRC guidance led caseworkers to conclude the taxpayer was caught by IR35.
  • The Court of Appeal found there was a gap in the factual analysis.
  • Evidence from BBC witnesses at the final hearing proved pivotal.
  • HMRC must take a less myopic approach to status determinations.

Keen IR35 readers will recall we co-wrote ‘Rough tax justice – maybe again’ (Taxation 3 March 2022) and ‘Rough tax justice – again’ (Taxation 12 July 2021) as follow-ups to our first ‘Rough tax justice’ (Taxation 19 December 2019). In each of those we focused on the criticality of robust fact-finding which is necessary to discharge the burden of proof at a First-tier Tribunal appeal hearing.

We revisit the specialist fact-finding topic in light of a fourth hearing decision in...

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