Mr Justice Lavender has dismissed a claim for judicial review by a taxpayer in The King (On the Application of Realreed Ltd) v HMRC.

It was argued that the taxpayer had a legitimate expectation that it could treat its supplies as exempt supplies of residential accommodation, following HMRC not questioning that treatment in a series of meetings, the last being in 2005. Mr Justice Lavender found that “none of the Defendants’ officers in any of the inspections carried out a critical examination of the proposition that the Relevant Supplies were exempt from VAT. However, it is perhaps more significant that the Defendants did not tell the Claimant that they had done so”. Thus no legitimate expectation had been created, nor had there been detrimental reliance.

Isabel McArdle acted for the successful Defendants, HMRC.