Kevin Read discusses how equity, rather than tax law, can decide tax cases.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Pitt v Holtâ¯ 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