Thursday, 3 October 2013

Supreme Court art: a pipe is not a painting of a tax return

SKRANNNKK goes the unforgiving minute hand of the slate clock in Court 2.

SHWOOSHH goes my Pentel waterbrush on textured paper.

Cotter v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is the attraction.

Should Mr Cotter's claim for tax relief be adjudicated by the court (s9A Taxes Management Act 1970) or the first-tier tribunal (schedule 1A TMA)?

René Magritte's painting
What does 'in a tax return' mean? In fact, what is a tax return?

'This is like the painting This is not a pipe,' says Lord Reed.

Counsel invites their lordships to consider the distinction between 'in a return' and 'in the return'.

Lord Neuberger remarks on the surreality of tax law while dizzying flowers on the velvet curtains, owing more to the Pre-Raphaelites, play around the wigs of counsel.

Last night I had a drink with someone who's been let loose on the freelance world by the cash-strapped Lebedevs. Worryingly, I was the person she asked for advice. 'Accountant,' I said. 'Spreadsheet. Monthly. Claim.'

Today I'm out of my depth.

'Why do you say that?' says Lord Neuberger in response to counsel. 'Other than common sense which is unwise in tax revenue cases.'

More pictures if you scroll down.

Mr Cotter - not the respondent but
someone in the public seats

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