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P Duckmanton v HMRC

In P Duckmanton v HMRC (Upper Tribunal – 15 July) a sole trader (D) operated a vehicle transport business. In 2002 one of his lorries killed a pedestrian. D was charged with manslaughter and attempting to pervert the course of justice. He was subsequently convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice but was acquitted of manslaughter. In his returns he claimed a deduction for the legal costs of defending himself. HMRC issued amendments disallowing the deductions and D appealed. The First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) dismissed his appeal holding that the expenses were not wholly and exclusively incurred for the purposes of D’s trade. Judge Connell held that D’s ‘main purpose in incurring significant expenditure on legal and other professional fees was to defend the manslaughter charge for the purpose of protecting his liberty and personal reputation’. The Upper Tribunal upheld this decision as...

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