Upper Tax Tribunal Ruling on Document Disclosure in an Appeal

The Upper Tax Tribunal (UT) has ruled on the scope of document disclosure in a tax appeal in HMRC vs. Ingenious Games et al [2014] UKUT 062, 07/Feb/14. The case concerned three LLPs in the film and video game sector, involving £1 billion of tax. HMRC at the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) applied unsuccessfully for further documents to be disclosed. But HMRC won their appeal to the UT and disclosure was ordered. In doing so Sales J gave useful guidance on the approach to be adopted generally. the UT noted that the UT should not interfere with the wide case management discretion of the FTT where correct principles were applied. At [67] Sales J held that the most important point was to determine the main appeal fairly and justly under the overriding objective. In a phrase that can equally be applied to both sides in other appeals he ruled that: “[one party] should have an equal opportunity to review … documents held by [the otherside] which they have not yet disclosed to [one party] and which they do not wish themselves to rely on in the appeal. Put another way, it would unfair and unjust for [the otherside] to be able to suppress or keep from the view of [one party] and the FTT relevant documents which may be harmful to their case.”

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant

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About Eamon McNicholas

Tax Barrister, Accountant www.EamonMcNicholas.com
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