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Schofield v HMRC: Is Ramsay back from the wilderness?

For those like me who thought that the Ramsay doctrine had disappeared into the long grass as a result of the House of Lords decisions in Westmoreland and Barclays Mercantile the case of Schofield v HMRC [2010] UKFTT 196 TC00498 came as a surprise.

Schofield was a loss scheme in which various things happened with some gilt options and up popped a loss — and a very similar profit. The profit was of course not taxable (otherwise it would obviously have been a waste of time) but the loss was designed to be allowable against gains made by the taxpayer on other transactions. I apologise for this rather flippant summary which does not do justice to the intellectual ingenuity of the arrangements but they are mercifully explained in detail elsewhere.

HMRC denied relief for the loss on the basis that the series of transactions which gave rise...

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