In Judith Thorne v HMRC [2016] UKUT 0349 (TCC) the Upper Tribunal (UT) considered how to determine whether a single trade existed for restriction on loss relief: was land occupied as a farm or as a market garden?

  • Mrs Thorne was denied sideways loss relief by HMRC and by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) on the basis that her equestrian activity and her asparagus growing business were a single trade of farming which was not conducted on a commercial basis.
  • The UT found that the FTT had not properly considered whether the asparagus growing business was in fact market gardening.
  • If it was then this would be a separate trade from the equestrian trade and provided that the asparagus business was conducted on a commercial basis then sideways relief would be available.
  • The UT referred the case back to the FTT to determine whether, on the facts, the asparagus business was market gardening or farming.

The UT did not reach a decision and referred the case back to the FTT.

They did consider in some detail the definitions of farming and market gardening.


Farmers’ averaging relief (also available to market gardeners)

Losses (sideways): restriction on relief for uncommercial trades (hobby farming or market gardening)

Case reference: Judith Thorne v HMRC [2016] UKUT 0349 (TCC)