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HMRC and GSTS Pathology

HMRC’s conduct in the GSTS Pathology case illustrates the department’s sometimes high-handed attitude.

Kevin Smith and Richard Doran have already reviewed the legal issues arising from the High Court decision in R (on the application of GSTS Pathology LLP) v HMRC [2013] EWHC 1823 (see ‘GSTS Pathology: When do legitimate expectations end?’). My question is did anyone in HMRC reflect on the implications for the public sector before spending on the taxpayers’ behalf limited resources on indefensible behaviour; and if not why not?

In that case HMRC had given a written ruling in 2008 that the pathology services to be provided by the LLP to Guy’s Hospital would be taxable. This meant that input tax incurred by the LLP would be fully recoverable and in turn input tax incurred...

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