Taxation logo taxation mission text

Since 1927 the leading authority on tax law, practice and administration

Flying man

Nov 5, 2008, 07:18 AM
Authors : Charlene
Show link : Yes
Show link in individual comments : No
Show Printer-friendly URLs list : Yes
User can post comments : No
Display comments : No
Sticky at top of lists : No
Promoted to front page : No
Premium content : No
Feature in listings page : No
Post date : Nov 5, 2008, 07:18 AM
American graduate Charlene Choi, Taxation's newest member, continues to get to grips with the UK tax system. Yesterday, she visited the High Court...

The appellant’s argument in Revenue and Customs v Grace was on the basis of how the word residence would be re-defined to the court. The trouble lay in the nature of Mr Grace’s life: how does one define the residence of a man who ‘lives in the sky’? The case went before the Special Commissioner earlier this year, and the fundamental question was in determining Grace’s status as chief resident of his UK property.
Mr Grace’s situation is unusual because he is a pilot who flies based out of Heathrow and Gatwick airports, and he uses a house in London between flights.
His rest periods, however, mount to no more than a few days at most, and he often flies out of London on the same day that he flies in. He does pay tax during the time he spends in the capital.
Special Commissioner Brice accepted a second property Grace owned in Cape Town as the pilot’s primary residence. The South African location is the place in which he enjoys many of his off-days and activities when not serving his employer.
On appeal, HMRC submitted that the Special Commissioner’s approach to residence fell into an error of law – from which a technical discussion of the meaning of ‘dual’, ‘chief’, ‘ordinary’, ‘permanent’, ‘temporary’ and ‘occasional’ residency ensued.
In all, it was a very circular report in which the appellant successfully stalled the real question. Grace is a special case. He doesn’t work in London though he works from it, and he doesn’t have a ‘home’ that he goes to outside the 9-5 workday - but he does spend an analogous period of time in Cape Town.
I must admit that I tuned in and out of the seven hour long discussion, oscillating between admiring the Royal Courts of Justice and the judge, who looked like a small god of legal wisdom in the apex of the room.
By 3pm, I was too engrossed with my surroundings to be troubled with jumbled final rebuttals on the nuances between select adjectives for the word ‘residence’, all which have no concrete legal definitions.
The decision is to be submitted in writing because it was not reached by the end of the rebuttals.

To return to, click here.
Tags :
Tax Topic Tags :
  • Blog
back to top icon