HC Deb 12 March 1980 vol 980 c572W
Mr. Eggar

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will indicate the policy of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue with regard to costs in the High Court and superior courts of appeal.

Mr. Peter Rees

The general rule in the appeal courts is that the losing party risks having to pay the other side's costs, and I do not think it would be right to treat tax cases differently as a matter of course. However, both revenue departments exercise their discretion on matters of costs, and are willing in appropriate circumstances, and in particular where it is they who are appealing against an adverse decision, to consider waiving their claims to costs or making other arrangements. Influential factors include the risk of financial hardship to the other party and whether the case is one of significant interest to taxpayers as a whole, turning on a point of law in need of clarification. If the revenue departments are to come to an arrangement of this nature, they would expect to do so in advance of the hearing and following an approach by the taxpayer involved.