Judicial review in tax cases

By Tolley and written by Anne Redston

The following Employment 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 judicial review?
  • HMRC decisions and judicial review
  • Legislative provisions potentially subject to judicial review
  • Where to make your application for judicial review
  • Judicial review in the High Court (Admin Chamber)
  • Judicial review in the Upper Tribunal
  • Interactions with the First-tier Tribunal

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

In particular, it explains:

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

Judicial review is complex and this practice note is only a summary. Unless you are experienced in judicial review 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 judicial review?

Judicial review 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

Judicial review 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)

Judicial review 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 )

Judicial review

More on Appeals: