The Administrative Court (Sir Kenneth Parker) has today given an important judgment on the entitlement of taxpayers to rely upon tax rulings. Biffa sought and obtained a ruling from HMRC confirming that landfill tax did not have to be paid on material used to construct a “regulation layer” at one of its landfill sites. The ruling was given in response to a request for clarification of a new legal regime applicable to landfill tax from September 2009. Sir Kenneth Parker held that the ruling could not rationally be confined simply to the landfill site in respect of which it was given. In its proper context, it was capable of being applied to the other landfill sites provided that there were no material differences in the construction and use of the regulation layer at those other sites. The Judge also ruled that there was no obligation on a taxpayer to alert HMRC to all the subsequent, potential applications of the ruling to other aspects of landfill site operation.
The full judgment can be read in the attached pdf.
Kieron Beal QC represented the taxpayer, Biffa Waste Management Services Ltd.