Variation in the Outcomes of Tax Appeals Between Special Commissioners: An Empirical Study

[2013] (2) British Tax Review 154-174

21 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2019

See all articles by Michael Blackwell

Michael Blackwell

London School of Economics - Law Department

Date Written: February 19, 2013

Abstract

This article uses statistical techniques to model the variation between tribunal members in the outcome of appeals to the Special Commissioners, the tribunal which generally heard the most complex first-instance direct tax appeals, controlling for factors associated with the complexity of the case and the area of tax law. It identifies substantial variation between Special Commissioners and examines whether such variation can be attributable to the professional background of tribunal members. The consequences of the uncertainty generated by such variation are considered, including its impact on the operation of the draft GAAR. This article is based on a dataset, assembled by the author, of all the 746 decisions made by the Special Commissioners between 1995 (when their decisions were first reported) until 2009 (when their jurisdiction was transferred to the new tribunal structure).

Keywords: special commissioners, judicial decision making, tax, litigation

JEL Classification: K41, K34, H2

Suggested Citation

Blackwell, Michael, Variation in the Outcomes of Tax Appeals Between Special Commissioners: An Empirical Study (February 19, 2013). [2013] (2) British Tax Review 154-174, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3337780

Michael Blackwell (Contact Author)

London School of Economics - Law Department ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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