In the recent case of JSM Construction Limited, the taxpayer sought a direction for its appeal to be re-allocated as complex. Whilst the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) ultimately dismissed the application, in reaching its conclusion, it provided helpful guidance on the criteria and relevant principles to be taken into consideration when deciding whether a case should be allocated as ‘complex’ under Rule 23(4) of the Tribunal Rules.
It is clear that what is a “complex” case is a matter of judgment and to be determined on the facts of the case. However, if the issue is not one which is considered by the FTT on a regular basis or, if the amounts involved are generally large (when compared to the general value of appeals to the FTT), then the FTT has indicated that it is likely to satisfy one or more of the criteria in rule 23(4) of the Tribunal Rules. The FTT confirmed it is not enough for the issue to be important to the taxpayer alone; it must also be important in the context of VAT and tax appeals generally.
A copy of the decision can be viewed here.