This decision concerned whether a house that was unsafe to occupy at the transaction’s effective date was nevertheless “suitable for use as a single dwelling” and is notable for distinguishing and not following the approach in Bewley. Procedurally, the case was also notable for HMRC’s extraordinary but unsuccessful attempt to ambush the taxpayer at the start of the hearing by applying to exclude the taxpayers’ various survey reports on the state and condition of the dwelling.
HMRC had not only been provided with these reports before the issue of their closure notice of June 2021 but had discussed and relied on them in the closure notice. Despite this, HMRC wanted the reports excluded on the morning of the hearing on the basis that these were “an attempt to introduce expert evidence by the backdoor”.
You can read the full decision here
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