CASE SUMMARIES: 20 January 1997

The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Land

Hypo-Mortgage Services Ltd v Robinson; CA (Nourse LJ, Sir John May) 7 Nov 1996.

Where a house was held on trust, the presence in the house of an infant beneficiary when it was mortgaged by a sole trustee did not support a claim that the mortgagee took subject to an overriding interest in favour of that beneficiary. Such a presence could not amount to "actual occupation" for the purpose of s 70(1)(g) of the Land Registration Act 1925 because an infant, even if not occupying in the shadow of a parent or other adult, lacked the legal capacity to consent to the transaction and to respond to relevant inquiries.

Jonathan H. Marks (Eversheds, Cardiff) for the plaintiff mortgagee; the defendant in person.

VAT

Customs & Excise Commrs v Bassimeh; CA (Evans, Henry, Aldous LJJ) 20 Nov 1996.

A penalty was assessed personally on a company director under s 14 of the Finance Act 1986 where the company's default over a four-year period was attributable to his dishonesty and the company had been assessed to a penalty under s 13 of the Finance Act 1985. The assessment and its notification to the director as a total sum not split into prescribed accounting periods were valid. All he needed to know was that the assessment on him, as opposed to the underlying assessment on the company, was properly made and notified to him. He did not need to know the details of the assessment on the company.

Rupert Baldry (Barry Philips & Co) for the director; Nigel Pleming QC (Customs & Excise).

Aspro Travel Ltd v Customs & Excise Commrs; QBD (Keene J) 22 Nov 1996.

Tour operators accounting for VAT under the Tour Operators' Margin Scheme, in Customs leaflet 709/5/88, were not permitted to elect retrospectively not to use the standard method of calculation provided by the scheme. Under the standard method, all supplies by third parties to the tour operator's customers were covered, wherever they were enjoyed but election might be made to account separately for supplies made to customers within the EC and those outside. Election to use the alternative method had to be made at the latest at the end of the taxpayer's financial year when adjusted accounts became due.

Roderick Cordara QC, Perdita Cargill-Thompson (Garrett & Co, Leeds) for Aspro; Kenneth Parker QC (Customs & Excise).

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