Appellate or supervisory

It has been uncertain whether the jurisdiction of the tribunal is of appellate or supervisory (Mr Wishmore Ltd v C & E Commrs (1988) 3 BVC 311 and C & E Commrs v Peachtree Enterprises Ltd [1994] BVC 209).

The importance of the distinction is that the word ‘supervisory’ implies that the tribunal’s jurisdiction may be limited to considering the rationality or legality of an exercise of HMRC’s powers, rather than a consideration of the merits of the decision itself. The point arises in relation to the exercise by HMRC of a discretion, e.g. to require the provision of security as a condition of registration.

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