On the way to the forum…

Keith Gordon looks at a High Court decision in which the taxpayer was considered to have started proceedings in the wrong forum

Over the past decade or so, a procedural issue that has arisen from time to time is whether or not proceedings have been commenced in the right forum. For example, in the case of Beadle [2020] EWCA Civ 562, the Court of Appeal accepted HMRC’s arguments that the taxpayer could not challenge the validity of a partner payment notice (PPN) in the course of an appeal against the penalty issued for non-compliance with the notice. This was despite the fact that the tribunal had full appellate jurisdiction over the penalty, and that penalty’s own validity turned on the validity of the underlying PPN. According to the Court of Appeal, the taxpayer should have started a judicial review against the PPN and, having failed to do so, the PPN must be assumed to be valid.