HMRC's Management of the U.K. Tax System: The Boundaries of Legitimate Discretion

Chris Evans, Judith Freedman and Rick Krever (eds), The Delicate Balance - Tax, Discretion and the Rule of Law, IBFD, 2011

Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 73/2012

44 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2012  

Judith Freedman

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law; Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation

John Vella

Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation; University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2011

Abstract

To operate efficiently and effectively revenue authorities require discretion, but processes must be in place to keep discretion in check. This delicate balancing act takes place against the background of a more general constitutional framework. This chapter outlines the unique features of the UK constitution that form the background to the way in which the discretion of the UK revenue authorities (HMRC) is assessed and controlled. It then discusses a limited, yet crucial, set of discretions vested in HMRC. The chapter focuses particularly on the use of non-statutory guidance. It discusses the operation of judicial review, and in particular, the doctrine of legitimate expectations, in the context of such guidance.

Keywords: Administrative discretion, discretion, tax, guidance, tertiary legislation, legitimate expectations, judicial review, ultra vires

Suggested Citation

Freedman, Judith and Vella, John, HMRC's Management of the U.K. Tax System: The Boundaries of Legitimate Discretion (August 1, 2011). Chris Evans, Judith Freedman and Rick Krever (eds), The Delicate Balance - Tax, Discretion and the Rule of Law, IBFD, 2011; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 73/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2174946 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2174946

Judith Freedman (Contact Author)

Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation ( email )

Worcester College
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2HB
United Kingdom

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

Worcester College
Walton Street
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2HB
Great Britain

John Vella

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/profile/john.vella

Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation ( email )

Saïd Business School
Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/community/people/john-vella

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