Court of Appeal dismiss school’s legitimate expectation claim based on tax interpretation


Re: Metropolitan International Schools Limited v The Commissioners For Her Majesty’s Revenue And Customs [2019] EWCA Civ 156

This case discusses the interpretation of section 84(10) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994. The appellants (Metropolitan International Schools Ltd) argued that section 84(10) enabled them to advance a legitimate expectation claim in the context of appeals to the First-tier Tribunal rather than by way of judicial review.

However, the court held that there could be no question of section 84(10) applying. First, if it applied, it would do so only where the decision on legitimate expectation was a “prior decision”, while there was no reason for thinking Parliament intended to provide a jurisdiction in such a case but not in those where the legitimate expectation decision arose after an assessment. Secondly, it would be surprising for Parliament to have intended public law arguments to be routinely advanced before the First-tier Tribunal.

Eleni Mitrophanous was involved in this case.