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The wider implications of First Nationwide

Speed read

The recent decision of the Court of Appeal succinctly and emphatically confirms the approach taken by the First-tier and Upper Tribunals in the First Nationwide litigation. This is an important (albeit widely expected) win for the taxpayer, and has now become final in view of HMRC's decision not to appeal to the Supreme Court. The arguments raised by HMRC in this case have had wider implications over the past few years beyond the scope of dividends paid out of share premium account by non-UK companies, although these have now been largely resolved (in particular by the extension of the corporate dividend exemption to ‘distributions of a capital nature’). Some questions and inconsistencies remain, but this litigation has confirmed the established case law in this area – including on the relevance of non-UK company law in determining the treatment of UK taxpayers in certain situations.

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