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The Queen (on the application of Andrew Michael Higgs) v HMRC

In The Queen (on the application of Andrew Michael Higgs) v HMRC [2015] UKUT 92 (11 March 2015) the UT found that the time limit in TMA 1970 s 34(1) did not apply to self-assessment.

Mr Higgs had made payments on account (based on the previous year’s liability) which had turned out to be too high so that a repayment by HMRC may be due. HMRC however resisted the claim for repayment on the ground that Mr Higgs’ return had been received after the expiry of the four year time limit (TMA 1970 s 34(1)).

Mr Higgs contended that s 34(1) only applied to assessments by HMRC and not to self-assessment returns; and that in the alternative HMRC had a discretion to extend the deadline which it must exercise under art 1 of Protocol 1 to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR...

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