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Supreme Court Gives Judgement in local case

The Supreme Court have today (15 December 2015) given their long awaited judgment in the local case of Jack Harvey from Truro. 

 Jo Martin from Devon Chambers, led by William Boyce QC from QEB Hollis Whiteman successfully overturned the Court of Appeal ruling in this case.

The question for their Lordships was whether, when assessing the benefit figure for confiscation proceedings, any amount accounted for, or paid to HMRC in relation to VAT should be subtracted from the turnover of the company.

By a majority of 3 (Lords Neuberger, Reed and Mance) to 2 (Lords Hughes and Toulson) the Court allowed the appeal.

The majority ruled that it would be disporportionate for a defendant who had paid moneys to one arm of the State (either directly or set off against VAT paid on supplies) to have to pay the same moneys again (by way of confiscation) to another arm of the State.

The case itself will now be sent back to Truro Crown Court to assess what the ruling means in monetary terms for Jack Harvey. It is of note that the judgement (in particular the dissenting judgements) considered the accounting exercise now required of the Crown Court to be a difficult one. The judgement makes it clear that the defendant needs to prove, on the balance of probabilities, how much VAT was properly (legally) paid and accounted for by calling evidence and that the Crown Court is entitled to be sceptical when dealing with dishonest defendants.

The judgement can be found on the Supreme Court Website:

https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2013-0249.html