V1.239 Extra-statutory concessions

V1.239 Extra-statutory concessions

The nature of concessions

A concession allows taxpayers something to which they would not be entitled under the strict letter of the law. Such concessions may be granted where there are minor or transitory anomalies under legislation, to meet hardships at the margins where a statutory remedy would be difficult to devise, or to alleviate the unintended effect of a piece of legislation or the unintended effects of the interaction between two pieces of legislation. It has been stated that the Parliamentary statement of 21 July 1978 (“The Sheldon Statement”)1 — now withdrawn — was in the nature of an extra-statutory concession2.

Concessions are intended to have general application, but all the circumstances of any particular case must be taken into account in considering the application of them. A concession may be withdrawn or restricted if an attempt is made to use it for tax avoidance3.

Concessions relevant to VAT are set out in Notice 484.

Concessions have no legal force (see, however, under “Statutory effect to be given to concessions” below) and tribunals have generally concluded that they have no jurisdiction to entertain an appeal on the basis that HMRC have refused to grant concessionary

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