Will it be a safe landing?

Helen McGhee and Tom O’Reilly consider the Court of Appeal’s judgment in the Fisher case and how it is likely to impact the rules on transfer of assets abroad

The transfer of assets abroad provisions exist to counteract tax avoidance achieved by means of a relevant transaction which results in income becoming payable to a person abroad by virtue of a transfer of assets. Where the transfer of assets abroad code applies, it operates to treat income arising to the person abroad as belonging for UK tax purposes to any UK resident individual responsible for the original transfer of assets to a non-UK person.

In the case of HMRC v Fisher and others [2021] EWCA Civ 1438, the Court of Appeal allowed HMRC’s appeal and reversed the decision of the Upper Tribunal, ruling (subject to a convincing dissenting judgment from Philips LJ) that: