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January 27, 2015

Castle Howard Case Update - HMRC Denied Leave to Appeal

Case Update

HMRC have been denied leave to appeal to the Supreme Court against the 2014 decision by the Court of Appeal in the case of HMRC v The Executors of Lord Howard of Henderskelfe in which it was held that  the sale of an 'Old Master’ painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds was exempt from capital gains tax.

The essence of the case rests upon why a substantial gain made on an iconic painting should be exempt from capital gains tax (CGT)?  The answer takes us back to some very basic principles of CGT and in particular the meaning of plant and machinery in the context of the chattels exemption.

Leading precedent in the consideration of whether an asset is plant and machinery is found in the case of Yarmouth v France.

For more background to the case, see the Q&A with Paul Davison from PD Tax Consultants published in the April 2014 edition of Tax Journal magazine here: Tax Journal Article - April 14

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