Spies? Check. Race cars? Check. Millions of dollars? Check. HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) appeal against McLaren yesterday had more in common with a James Bond novel than an Upper Tier tax tribunal.
This was an appeal with va va voom and almost certainly the first time a tax collector has beaten McLaren to the finish.
The Upper Tribunal ruled that the Formula One team could not claim back tax on a £32m fine imposed in 2007 for spying on rivals Ferrari.
The racing industry is certainly no stranger to litigation but cheating as an everyday hazard? The First-tier Tribunal thought so, but not the appeal judges.
KPMG walked away without a trophy, having instructed Temple Tax Chambers’ Alun James for the appeal for McLaren. HMRC’s in-house legal team sped to the finish, having instructed Devereux Chambers’ Akash Nawbatt and Christopher Stone.
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