Rory Mullan – Routier v HMRC – CA rules on status of Jersey in EU law

Rory Mullan acted for the taxpayer before the Court of Appeal Routier v HMRC. This was a highly significant case which concerned the EU law implications of a restriction on IHT relief for a gift to a Jersey Charity.

The Court of Appeal has confirmed that a restriction on charitable reliefs to UK charities was an unlawful restriction on the right to free movement of capital, but has held that it is lawful for the UK to restrict relief to those charities based in a jurisdiction where there are suitable mechanisms for exchange of tax information.

Importantly, the Court decided in favour of the taxpayer that the provisions on free movement of capital apply as between the UK and Jersey. This aspect of the decision will have significant consequences beyond the facts of this case. It confirms that EU law defences are available to Jersey trusts and other entities, a point which HMRC has long disputed.