In KS MacMillan and G Boardman v HMRC [2019] TC 07408, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) ordered the HMRC to pay 50% of the taxpayer's costs. HMRC had denied relief based up an incorrect argument. This became the subject of a complex appeal. It turned out that if the correct argument had been considered in the first place it would have saved both sides' costs.

  • The taxpayers had claimed Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Entrepreneursʼ Relief on the 2014 disposal of loan notes acquired in 2006. 
  • HMRC denied relief relying on the complicated transitional rules in FA 2008.
  • The Tribunal identified that the transitional rules did not need to be considered.
  • HMRC agreed and the parties settled the appeal by agreement.

As the case was listed as complex, the FTT considered costs. Generally, in complex appeals, the loser pays the victor's costs. 

The FTT found that the taxpayers' orginal argument was not correct and neither was HMRC's. Both sides could be said to have caused expenditure on costs which might have been avoided. However, had the taxpayer not brought the appeal it would not have obtained the relief sought. On that basis it was just and fair for HMRC to pay 50% of the appellantsʼ costs.

Useful guides

Entrepreneurs' Relief: at a glance
A FREEVIEW guide to this valuable CGT relief.

Entrepreneurs' Relief: subscriber guide
When does Entrepreneurs' Relief apply? What is the rate of Entrepreneurs' Relief? How to claim Entrepreneurs' Relief. Cases and planning points.

How to appeal a decision of HMRC
What type of a decisions are appealable? What are your different options when you disagree with HMRC? What are the key steps in making an appeal?

External links

KS MacMillan and G Boardman [2019] TC 07408