A question of jurisdiction—Changtel Solutions v HMRC

A question of jurisdiction—Changtel Solutions v HMRC

Can an appeal against a VAT assessment pending in the First-tier Tribunal prevent the Companies Court from determining a winding-up petition presented by HMRC against the taxpayer? Timothy Jarvis, a partner at Squire Patton Boggs, advises that the judgment in Changtel Solutions v HMRC is of wide-ranging application to all creditors, not justVAT and tax creditors.

Original news

Changtel Solutions UK Ltd (formerly Enta Technologies Ltd) v Revenue and Customs Comrs [2015] EWCA Civ 29, [2015] All ER (D) 211 (Jan)

The appeal concerned the question whether, when there was both an appeal against a VAT assessment pending in the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) and a winding-up petition pending in the Companies Court, the tribunal or the Companies Court was the appropriate forum to determine whether the petition debt was disputed in good faith on substantial grounds. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that, when the tribunal had reached a conclusion on such an issue, that decision was normally likely to be a compelling factor in the Companies Court's exercise of discretion. That discretion was not, however, completely abrogated by the jurisdiction of the tribunal. It need not defer to the tribunal in every case, though it might often choose to do so.

What was the background to the case?

HMRC had raised VAT assessments against Changtel Solutions UK Limited (Changtel) on 25 March 2013. Changtel had submitted its VAT returns on the basis that it was due substantial VAT refunds from HMRC. Changtel's position was that it was entitled to VAT refunds because it had exported goods intra EU to business customers thereby crystallising a refund of VAT input tax with no consequential obligation to account for VAT output tax. HMRC's position was that there had been no export of goods to EU business customers with the result that Changtel had no entitlement to a VAT refund. Therefore HMRC issued VAT assessments to recover the

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About the author:

Stephen qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and joined the Restructuring and Insolvency team at Lexis®PSL in September 2014 from Shoosmiths LLP, where he was a senior associate in the restructuring and insolvency team.

Primarily focused on contentious and advisory corporate and personal insolvency work, Stephen’s experience includes acting for office-holders on a wide range of issues, including appointments, investigations and the recovery and realisation of assets (including antecedent transaction claims), and for creditors in respect of the impact on them of the insolvency of debtors and counterparties.