The threshold certainty

Jon Claypole and Jonathan Levy consider the conclusion of a long running battle on the issue of follower notices, and what this could mean for their future

On 2 July 2021, the Supreme Court released its decision in the long running case of R (oao Haworth) v HMRC [2021] UKSC 25 (see bit.ly/3flKImV). 

This is the first case taken all the way to the Supreme Court challenging the ability of HMRC to issue a follower notice. The judges unanimously concluded that HMRC had unlawfully issued a follower notice and consequently an accelerated payment notice to Mr Haworth.

The decision brings finality on what has been a long running battle with HMRC and demonstrates that judicial review remains an option open to challenge HMRC’s actions, albeit not one to be taken lightly as the taxpayer will need to be resolute to see it through. 

The background