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John Mander Pension Trustees v HMRC

In John Mander Pension Trustees v HMRC [2015] UKSC 56 (29 July 2015) the Supreme Court allowed the appeal thus imposing a stringent time limit on HMRC for imposing the charge to tax on loss of approval by pension schemes.

Until 2006 pension schemes could be approved by HMRC. Approved status carried both advantages and restrictions; in particular benefits had to be taken as income. A practice had therefore grown by which small schemes would contrive a loss of approval. To deal with this practice FA 1995 s 61 had introduced a 40% charge on the value of the assets of the scheme immediately before the cessation of approval. The question was whether the tax charge fell to be assessed in the tax year with effect from which the approval ceased or in the tax year when HMRC’s decision to withdraw approval was notified...

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