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Section 684 Judicial Review Update

Section 684 Judicial Review Update

WTT Group’s Graham Webber, Director of Tax, offers an update on HMRCs Section 684 campaign.

I’m pleased to report that we are now seeking a suitable date for the Court to hear the substantive arguments on the matter, following the Judge’s confirmation that an in person hearing will be scheduled. 
We hope that will be before the summer break but if not, then a date in late summer/early Autumn looks likely.
To remind you, we think that where a contractor used a “scheme” in which a promoter or a party controlled or connected to the promoter had a presence in the UK, then the individual is entitled to a PAYE credit. HMRC think that they can use a discretionary power in the Taxes Acts (s684) to retrospectively forgive the PAYE obligations of the “employer” (unnamed and unidentified) and if they do that, it means the “employee” assumes the liability.
Our view is that the discretionary power cannot be used to create the above effect, cannot have unlimited retrospective scope and perhaps is not available at all. It would seem that the Judge would like to hear why we and HMRC think as we do, in more detail.
Judicial Review challenges also have some peculiarities which mean that individuals in similar situations, i.e. have a section 684 notice, cannot rely upon the result in a case being taken by others. To have the benefit of a favourable decision, it is necessary to be part of the action. 
It’s also the case that an application for a Judicial Review has to be made “promptly” after the offending notice is issued and in any event not more than three months after the notice. Many recipients of notices will therefore now be timed out.  
HMRC is however still issuing  notices. Given the necessary steps required to make a valid JR application, you could still be part of our action and above case provided that your notice was issued 1 February 2024 or later. Obviously the closer you are to that date the more haste is required and if you would like to discuss it further, please call us as soon as you can.

Find out more

Catch up on all past action in response to HMRCs s.684 campaign, with our previous blog updates:

HMRC disregard the PAYE system and issue s.684 notices to users of Edge and AML29.07.2022

Contact Our Specialists Today

Have you received a section 684 notice from HMRC? Contact us today to discuss your options with an advisor. Complete the contact form below or email us at info@wttconsulting.co.uk.

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