More Questions Than Answers: Test Claimants in the FII Group Litigation V Revenue and Customs Commissioners
Abstract:Test Claimants in the FII Group Litigation v Revenue and Customs Commissioners (FII) is the latest skirmish in the long-running battle between HMRC and taxpayers seeking restitution of unlawfully levied advance corporation tax. FII is a significant decision for several reasons. First, it explores the relationship between principles of EU law—such as the doctrine of national procedural autonomy and the principles of equivalence and effectiveness, and the protection of legitimate expectations—and matters of English procedure, such as limitation periods and the principle of concurrent liability. Second, the decision is an important contribution to the law of restitution of overpaid tax. It considers the scope and content of the principle in Woolwich Equitable Building Society v IRC, which provides that unlawfully exacted taxes are recoverable as of right. In doing so, it adds to our understanding of the public law imperatives that underline the Woolwich cause of action. However, the following discussion of the Supreme Court's reasoning will demonstrate that its consideration of these important issues raises many further questions and is in some respects incomplete.
Document Type: Short Communication
Publication date: March 1, 2013
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