Judicial review in tax cases

Produced by Tolley and written by Anne Redston

The following Personal Tax guidance note Produced 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
  • Tax decisions potentially subject to judicial review
  • Examples of HMRC decisions which can be subject to 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)
  • Pre-action protocol
  • Application for permission and the main (‘substantive’) hearing
  • More...

Judicial review in tax cases

Anne is a barrister who sits as a judge of the First-tier Tax Tribunal. The commentary in this guidance note is her personal view as she is not authorised to write on behalf of the Tribunals Service or the judiciary.

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

In particular, it explains:

  1. what judicial review is

  2. the scope of judicial review

  3. where to make an application for judicial review, and in particular:

    1. when it is possible to make an application to the Upper Tribunal

    2. whether it is possible to make an application to the First-tier Tribunal

  4. what to do if your dispute involves both public law and technical tax issues

  5. the remedies available ― ie what outcomes taxpayers can expect if they win

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.

What is judicial review?

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

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”.

Judicial review proceedings can be taken against:

  1. any public body, including HMRC, and

  2. legislation, including secondary legislation

Judicial review is normally only available when there is no alternative remedy (such as when

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