Ingenious LLPs v HMRC – Permission to appeal partially granted
This is a long-running dispute between HMRC and investors over tax liabilities related to film and game investment schemes promoted by the Ingenious group of LLPs. Having lost the appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal, the LLPs appealed to the Upper Tribunal on eight grounds. HMRC cross-appealed on two grounds.
The hearing at the Upper Tribunal centred on, among other points, whether the LLPs were trading with a view to a profit. If not, HMRC argued, they were not entitled to offset losses amounting to over £1.6bn against their other taxable income. By judgment released on 26 July 2019, the LLPs’ appeal was dismissed and HMRC’s cross-appeal was allowed.
The LLPs sought permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal on seven grounds. Permission has now been granted to appeal only on Grounds 1 and 3, namely, whether the partnerships were carrying on business “with a view to profit” and whether the tribunal was wrong to conclude that the partnerships were not trading.
Interestingly the Court has refused permission to appeal on the issue of whether the expenses were income or capital in nature. The refusal of this ground appears to render the hearing of Grounds 1 &3 pointless. If it remains that the expenditure incurred by the LLPs was of a capital rather than revenue nature then no deduction could be made whatever the outcome of the appeal
This, however, is not the end of the road as Ingenious can renew its application for permission on the rejected grounds at an oral hearing. If that oral hearing for permission occurs at the same time as the main appeal hearing (which is the usual practice) then the appeal will extend to consideration of the dismissed issues anyway.
An Assessment to Tax is never ‘stale’, but it might be out of date: HMRC v Tooth
This article briefly discusses the key points arising out of the decision of the UK Supreme Court in HMRC v Tooth  UKSC 17. The case considered (1) whether a discovery assessment could become “stale” and (2) the meaning of the phrase “deliberate inaccuracy”.
VATA 1994 s.47, Agency, Onward Supply Relief, & Double Taxation
On 12 July 2021, the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) (“FTT”) released its decision in Scanwell Logistics (UK) Limited v HMRC  UKFTT 261 (TC), rejecting the taxpayer’s claim for onward supply relief (“OSR”).
Whilst OSR is now limited, post-Brexit, to goods imported into Northern Ireland for onward supply to the EU, the FTT’s discussion of agency under section 47 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 (“VATA”) is of broader interest.
The case serves as a reminder of the significant financial consequences that can result from errors in tax planning, as Scanwell was ultimately held liable for £5.7 million in unpaid import VAT despite the fact that the imported goods almost immediately left the UK (which, if properly planned, could have meant Scanwell was relieved from liability to import VAT).
Draft Finance Bill 2022—tax avoidance measures
Helen McGhee, senior associate at Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, considers the draft Finance Bill 2022 clauses published on 20 July 2021 in relation to tax avoidance and recent updates to the tax avoidance regime.
Getting Closer: A Global Minimum Tax on Corporations
On 1 July 2021, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced that countries representing over 90% of global GDP had agreed to a global minimum tax on corporations (“GMCT”). The GMCT seeks to put a floor on tax competition on corporate income through the introduction of a minimum corporate tax of at least 15%. Whilst certain elements give rise to positive expectations, some caveats should be noted. Much will depend on (1) the outcome of future political negotiations and (2) the detail of the drafting at international and national levels.
The DBKAG & K (CJEU) decision: an opportunity for investment funds?
On 17 June 2021, the European Court decided the joint cases K (C-58/20) and DBKAG (C-59/20) regarding whether the supply of certain services constituted the “management of special investment funds”, benefiting from the VAT exemption enshrined in Article 135(1)(g) of Council Directive 2006/112/EC.