Bare rights and appeals against tax assessments

Bare rights and appeals against tax assessments

Frances Coulson looks at the bare right to appeal a tax assessment and whether that right is ‘property’ which can be assigned.

The court held that a bare right to appeal was not property within the meaning of the Insolvency Act 1986, s 436 (IA 1986) and hence it was not possible to assign the right as sought. The ruling in GP Aviation (GP Aviation Group International (in liq); Williams v Glover [2013] All ER (D) 41 (Jun))  looks at how, in future, directors will need to fund the company to appeal by the liquidator.


What issues did the case raise?

The key issues was whether a right of appeal against a tax assessment was ‘property’ for the purposes of the IA 1986, s 436 and thus capable of assignment to the directors who wished to pursue the appeals. The liquidator of GP Aviation had found the company issued with a £1.4 million assessment for corporation tax following a sale of company assets pre-liquidation which he did not accept was legitimate, and he was suing the directors for almost £700,000 paid to them for their shares pre-liquidation.

The directors argued that the liquidator should assign the appeals to them to prosecute, as the company was without funds to do so. The court had to consider whether that was in fact feasible.

The court decided that a bare right to appeal was not property within the meaning of the 

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About the author:

Frances gained her LLB (Hons) at Kings’ College, London University in 1983. She then attended Chester College of Law to take what were then the Solicitors’ Final Examinations. She has been at Moon Beever since 1984 where she trained, qualifying in 1986, and a partner since 1988 becoming Managing Partner in 2000. She is also a founder partner of ShawnCoulson, an international association, of which Moon Beever is the London office. She is Head of Insolvency and Business Recovery at Moon Beever running a substantial team of insolvency specialists. She undertakes most areas of personal and corporate insolvency, specialising in contentious insolvency especially cases involving fraud, as well as provisional liquidations and injunctive work generally.

She is Chairman of the Appeal Committee at ACCA and a member of the Insolvency Law Evaluation Panel at the Insolvency Service, and CBI Insolvency Panel as well as a member of Insol, and the IBA and, veering towards the personal, of the NFU, and the Carlton Club.

Frances is a regular speaker in the UK and abroad on insolvency and practice management.

Frances was formerly Chairman of the SPG Committee of R3, the Insolvency trade body representing 97% of licensed insolvency practitioners. She is President of R3 for 2011-2012, and remains a member of its R3 Policy Group.

She is interested in all things equestrian as are her three daughters and her husband, and spends her free time (such as it is) with her family and other animals, riding and trying to improve her strokes at Real Tennis.