Skip to main content

Case details

Commissioners for His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (Respondent) v Fisher and another (Appellants)

Case ID: 2021/0212

Case summary


What is the correct construction of the anti-avoidance provisions in section 739 and following of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (and its successor in Chapter 2 of Part 13 of the Income Tax Act 2007)? In particular:
i) When does an individual make a transfer of assets so as to come within the scope of section 739 ICTA 1988?
ii) When does the motive defence in section 741 ICTA 1988 apply to prevent a charge applying?
iii) In the context of the facts of this case, is the charge applied to the relevant transfer contrary to EU law on free movement?
iv) When is a charge on income too remotely connected from the transfer on which the liability is based?


The Fisher family established the Stan James betting business. This appeal concerns the transfer of part of the Stan James betting business from a UK resident company, Stan James (Abingdon) Limited to a Gibraltar resident company, Stan James Gibraltar Limited ("SJG") in 2000, and the assessments to tax made on Stephen, Peter and Anne on the basis that they had "power to enjoy" income of SJG. Anne, Stephen and Peter Fisher were assessed by HMRC as liable to income tax on the profits of SJG for the years of assessment from 2000-2001 to 2007-2008 inclusive, on the basis that the TOAA code applied so that they were subject to charge under section 739 of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 and section 720 of the Income Tax Act 2007. Profits were allocated to them by reference to their shareholdings in SJG.

The Court of Appeal upheld the tax charges on Stephen and Peter but not Anne. Stephen and Peter now appeal to the Supreme Court. HMRC are cross-appealing in relation to Anne's assessment to tax.

Judgment appealed

[2021] EWCA Civ 1438



(1) Peter Fisher
(2) Stephen Fisher


Commissioners for His Majesty's Revenue and Customs



Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Sales, Lord Stephens, Lady Rose

Hearing start date

19 July 2023

Hearing finish date

20 July 2023