First-Tier Tribunal considers the application of section 75A

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In Project Blue Ltd v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 378 (TC), the First-Tier Tribunal considered for the first time the application of section 75A to a complex and high-profile property transaction.

The significance of the case is that: it is the third consecutive victory for HMRC in its battle against SDLT planning and resulted in the appellant paying more SDLT than had they not adopted any planning; HMRC did not have matters all its own way and the scope of section 75A, a wide anti-avoidance provision, has been narrowed in a couple of important respects; and it is unclear whether the taxpayer will appeal but, with fine points of law involved and £50m at stake, it would seem likely.

The tribunal decision runs to some 72 pages in total. It considers various arguments, including human rights, in addition to section 75A…

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