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UBS AG v HMRC and restricted securities

The First-tier Tribunal's decision in UBS AG v HMRC [2010] UKFTT 266 (TC) has been eagerly awaited by HMRC and a number of corporates that implemented the same or very similar planning in early 2004. The planning was designed to take advantage of the restricted securities legislation in ITEPA 2003 Part 7 Chapter 2 shortly after its introduction. UBS AG is the second reported case interpreting these complex rules. The Supreme Court's decision in the first (Grays Timber Products Ltd v HMRC [2010] STC 782) was handed down during the tribunal hearing in UBS.

Anti-avoidance provisions adopted from 2 December 2004 (the all-encompassing ‘main purpose’ provision in s 431B) would prevent the UBS planning from being effective now. However the case has significance beyond its facts. It presents a substantial challenge to one commonly held view arguably muddles the tests for restricted securities and...

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