High Court hands down judgment in £10m VAT legitimate expectation case

The High Court has handed down judgment in a £10m VAT legitimate expectation case: R (Airline Placement Limited) v The Commissioners for His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2023] EWHC 1191 (Admin).

The key issue was whether or not the Claimant had a legitimate expectation in relation to a Non-Statutory Clearance (“NSC”) issued by HMRC in 2009 that the VAT treatment set out in the clearance letter would continue to apply during the relevant VAT assessment period, and would not be withdrawn. HMRC contended that the request for the NSC by the Claimant had been materially inaccurate and misleading and there had not been full and frank disclosure, so no legitimate expectation could arise. The judgment is a timely reminder of the need to put all one’s cards on the table when making requests for non-statutory clearance.

Constable J found for HMRC. Howard Watkinson and Ishaani Shrivastava appeared for HMRC. 

The full judgement can be found here.

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