Hope v Revenue and Customs Commissioners

Practice – Summary judgment. The Bankruptcy Court struck out a taxpayer's claim, challenging a previous judgment in favour of the defendant Revenue and Customs Commissioners on the ground that it had been obtained as a result of fraudulent misrepresentation. The Revenue had presented a bankruptcy petition based on VAT assessments carried out in respect of the taxpayer, a specialist shoe designer, and her appeal concerning the rejection of her proposal for an individual voluntary arrangement had been dismissed. The court held, among other things, that there were no reasonable prospects of success in respect of the fraud claim; that no duty of care had arisen at common law or statute law on the part of the Revenue; and that there were no grounds to found a misfeasance claim, and no evidence to support the contention that the Revenue should have withdrawn or not relied on a VAT assessment at a meeting of creditors to consider an individual voluntary arrangement, which the taxpayer had proposed. Further, the claim was held to be an abuse of the court's process.

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