The recently published outcome of Andreas Rialas’ appeal hearing marks another loss for HMRC in its attempt to use Transfer of Assets Abroad (ToAA) legislation as a broad brush anti-avoidance rule.
HMRC had pinned its hopes on being able to convince the First Tier Tribunal to dismiss the appeal on the basis that the Rialas had procured a tax advantage. The Tribunal, however, was not swayed.
This case underlines the futility of such Transfer of Assets Abroad cases run by HMRC. Not only did the tribunal find that there was no procurement on the appellant’s part, but – and no judgement was sought for this point – the application of existing EU rules on free movement of capital would also have led to HMRC’s case failing.
We can only hope that the HMRC will draw a line under bringing any further ToAA cases after this judgement. Let’s wait and see.
A full transcript of the decision can be found here: https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKFTT/TC/2019/TC07316.pdf