Judicial review in tax cases

By Tolley and written by Anne Redston
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The following Personal 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 the taxpayer can expect if he wins

Judicial review is complex and this guidance 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.

This guidance note, and the other related guidance notes on Tribunal appeals, sets out the position before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although not specifically about judicial review, many of the themes discussed in Impact on the Tax Tribunals  within the Tolley COVID-19  toolkit, broadly apply to judicial review proceedings. However, you are advised to take specialist legal advice.

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; Civil Procedure Rule 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]

Judicial review proceedings can be taken against:

  • any public body, including HMRC, and (R v

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