Tuesday, 25 August 2020

UK: England and Wales: the equitable remedy of rectification, tax returns and electronic documents

Judgment was given today by Master Kaye in Re Webster [2020] EWHC 2275 (Ch), a case concerning a taxpayer's claim for the rectification of an electronically submitted tax return. The claim was refused. Master Kaye found that, even if a tax return were a unilateral document capable of rectification, it would be "an odd and a surprising result and contrary to public policy" if the statutory regime that applied to the particular circumstances of the case (a claim for Gift Aid relief) could be circumvented by the use of the equitable remedy of rectification (see para. [77]).  It was also held, in principle, that documents or instruments created electronically were susceptible to rectification. 

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