Our Commercial Disputes Solicitor, Lucy Emanuel, looks at the latest update concerning Accelerated Payment Notices.

Following the issue of numerous Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs) by HMRC, the number of Judicial Review claims challenging them is increasing.

In its recent decision in R (on the applications of VVB Engineering Services Ltd and others) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners, the Administrative Court refused to grant an interim order preventing HMRC from enforcing APNs pending the final determination of the claimant’s judicial review claim.

The Court held that the claimants were not entitled to interim relief and that it was in the public interest to allow HMRC to enforce the payments due under the APNs before it becomes impossible as a result of further charges affecting the claimants.

The court clarified that establishing hardship was a condition for being awarded interim relief. The claimants, in this case, did not present sufficient evidence to establish that they would suffer hardship justifying the grant of the interim order. Nevertheless, the claimants were allowed to submit further evidence in this respect within a specified period of time.

This highlights the position that payment of an APN is due within 90 days, even if you are still awaiting a final determination by the court. If seeking to delay the payment, there is a substantial burden to overcome to achieve this.