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JJ Management LLP and others v HMRC

In JJ Management LLP and others v HMRC [2020] EWCA Civ 784 (22 June) Court of Appeal found that HMRC is entitled to conduct informal investigations into a taxpayer’s affairs outside the normal statutory time limits where compliance with requests for information is entirely voluntary; and that a judicial review into the conduct of such an informal investigation is likely to be entertained and successful only in wholly exceptional circumstances.

HMRC had conducted an informal investigation not using its formal enquiry powers into the taxpayer’s offshore affairs with a view to a possible discovery assessment. The taxpayer sought judicial review of HMRC’s decision to investigate without opening an enquiry. It was unsuccessful at the High Court and appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision that there was no basis for treating the investigation as ‘ultra vires’. Under the Commissioners for Revenue...

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