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Just hold your hand up if you’ve made a mistake!

By Kevin Read, January 2021

Kevin Read discusses how equity, rather than tax law, can decide tax cases. 

The Supreme Court’s decision in Pitt v Holt [2013] UKSC 26 concerned the scope of ‘Hastings-Bass doctrine’. Broadly, this allows those acting in a fiduciary capacity to unwind arrangements into which they have entered, where there are unforeseen consequences.  

The Supreme Court in Pitt v Holt confirmed that the Hastings-Bass doctrine could not apply where an appellant had (like Mrs Pitt) taken professional advice beforehand, as they had complied with their statutory duties as a fiduciary. 

Unnecessary tax charges 

Mrs Pitt had been acting under a power of attorney for her husband, who had been severely injured in an accident and received a large insurance payment. She had settled this on trust for him but had not

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