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More Questions Than Answers: Test Claimants in the FII Group Litigation V Revenue and Customs Commissioners

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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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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.

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