Portland Gas Storage Ltd v HM Revenue & Customs, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, May 07, 2015, [2015] EWCA Civ 559

Resolution Date:May 07, 2015
Issuing Organization:Civil Division
Actores:Portland Gas Storage Ltd v HM Revenue & Customs
 
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Case No: A3/2014/2713

Neutral Citation Number: [2015] EWCA Civ 559

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL

ON APPEAL FROM THE UPPER TRIBUNAL

(TAX & CHANCERY CHAMBER)

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: Thursday, 7th May 2015

Before:

LORD JUSTICE JACKSON

LORD JUSTICE FLOYD

&

DAME JANET SMITH

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Between:

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Transcript of Merrill Legal Solutions

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Official Shorthand Writers to the Court

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MS SADIYA CHOUDHURY (instructed by HMRC Solicitors Office) appeared on behalf the Applicant

The Respondent did not appear and was not represented

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Judgment

LORD JUSTICE FLOYD:

  1. The issue which we now have to decide is whether we should continue to hear this appeal. The appeal is from a decision of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) (``UTT'') of Judges Hetherington and Powell released on 17 June 2004. The decision of the UTT determined an appeal by the respondent, Portland Gas Storage (``Portland''), against a decision of the First-tier Tax Tribunal (``the FTT''). That decision had struck out Portland's appeal to it concerning Stamp Duty Land Tax (``SDLT'') on the ground that the tribunal had no jurisdiction to determine it. This was, according to the FTT, because the decision of the appellants, The Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue (``HMRC''), did not fall within any of the categories in paragraph 35, schedule 10 of the Finance Act 2003, which specifies the decisions concerning SDLT which can be appealed to the FTT and beyond.

  2. Portland originally entered into an agreement for a lease of land on 11 April 2008 whereupon it took possession and began paying rent prior to the lease being executed. Because this constituted substantial performance of the agreement, it filed, in accordance with its duty, a land transaction return and paid SDLT in the not insubstantial sum of £168,000 odd. However, the lease was not completed as originally agreed. On 1 June 2013, more than four years after the agreement, the parties entered into a deed of variation and reduced both the extent of the land demised and the rent. Portland accordingly sought at that time to recover some of the SDLT and applied to amend its land transaction return and reclaim some £68,000 worth of the tax.

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