Judicial review in tax cases

By Tolley and written by Anne Redston

The following Corporation Tax guidance note by Tolley and written by Anne Redston provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Judicial review in tax cases
  • What is JR?
  • HMRC decisions and JR
  • Legislative provisions potentially subject to JR
  • Where to make your application for JR
  • JR in the High Court (Admin Chamber)
  • JR in the UT
  • Interactions with the FTT

This guidance note considers judicial review (JR) in the context of tax.

In particular, it explains:

  • what JR is
  • the scope of JR
  • where to make an application for JR, and in particular:
    • when it is possible to make an application to the Upper Tribunal (UT)
    • whether it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal (FTT)
  • what to do if the dispute involves both public law and technical tax issues
  • the remedies available ― ie what outcomes to expect if you win

JR is complex and this guidance note is only a summary. Unless you are experienced in JR work, it is recommended that you take specialist advice.

In particular, this guidance note does not cover non-tax related claims, criminal matters, or Scots or Northern Irish law.

What is JR?

JR is the procedure whereby the court considers whether the decision of a public body was lawful.

SCA 1981, s 31 (subscription sensitive); CPR 54.1 ; ARTG12010

JR has classically been described as ‘not an appeal from a decision, but a review of the manner in which the decision was made’.

Chief Constable of the North Wales Police v Evans [1982] 3 All ER 141 at 155 (subscription sensitive)

JR proceedings can be taken against:

  • any public body, including HMRC, and (R v CIR (ex p Preston) [1985] STC 282; IRC v National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses [1981] STC 260 at 265–266 (both subscription sensitive))
  • legislation, including secondary legislation (CPR 54.1 )

JR is normally only available when there is no alternative remedy (such

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