New Judgment: Cotter v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs  UKSC 69
06 Wednesday Nov 2013
On appeal from  EWCA Civ 81. .
Question about the jurisdictional boundary between the specialist tax tribunal and the ordinary courts, as well the approach taken by the Revenue to enquire into a claim for loss relief made as part of a tax avoidance scheme used by some 200 taxpayers. Held: interpreted “return” in the Taxes Management Act 1970, s 9A, which allowed an enquiry into “anything contained in the return . . . ” – an appeal against any such enquiry was to the FTT. The Court considered that a “return” referred to the information in the tax return form submitted for “for the purpose of establishing the amounts in which a person is chargeable to income tax and capital gains tax” for the relevant year of assessment and “the amount payable by him by way of income tax for that year” (s 8(1) of the 1970 Act). Whilst treating everything on the tax return form as the “tax return” was attractive in its simplicity, it would expose the Revenue to irrelevant claims, which serve only to postpone the payment of tax due.