'R. (Hely-Hutchinson) v HMRC: Fairness in Tax Law and Revenue Guidance

(2016) British Tax Review 18

11 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2016 Last revised: 8 Mar 2017

Stephen Daly

University of Birmingham

Date Written: March 9, 2016


From the vantage point of tax collection, fairness has long been recognised as a public law consideration which prevents HMRC from doggedly pursuing all tax that is due. How exactly the duty to act fairly towards taxpayers interacts with HMRC’s primary duty to collect and manage taxes came to be considered in a recent judicial review case before Whipple J in the High Court, namely R. (on the application of Hely-Hutchinson) v HMRC. The Court was further required to assess the effect of this interrelationship with regard to HMRC guidance. In particular, the assessment concerned how this interrelationship constrains HMRC from retroactively withdrawing treatment prescribed in a publication which is based upon an incorrect interpretation of the relevant law.

Keywords: Tax Law, Public Law, Judicial Review, Legitimate Expectations

Suggested Citation

Daly, Stephen, 'R. (Hely-Hutchinson) v HMRC: Fairness in Tax Law and Revenue Guidance (March 9, 2016). (2016) British Tax Review 18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2745622

Stephen Daly (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

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