Miscellaneous income: particular sources: restraint of trade
S687-S689 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005, S979-S981 Corporation Tax Act 2009
A payment for agreeing not to do something may be chargeable as miscellaneous income under the sweep-up provisions.
The case of Higgs v Olivier  33TC136 relates to a payment made to Sir Laurence Olivier. Following the making of the film of Henry V, Olivier agreed not to act in, produce or direct a film for any other person for a period of eighteen months in return for a payment of £15,000. This was held not to be taxable as income from his profession as an actor/director.
It was considered that a payment not to do something was not a trading receipt (see BIM35600), however the question of whether such a payment was taxable under the sweep-up provisions was not considered in this case.
Judicial comments in later cases have indicated that such payments are a payment for a service chargeable under the sweep-up provisions.
In Murray v ICI Ltd  44TC175, Cross J said at page 207:
‘The Crown made no alternative argument under [the sweep-up provisions] on the basis that the £15,000 was a payment for a service rendered by Sir Laurence Olivier at the request of the film company. Had it done so, then the question might well have arisen whether it was a casual profit of a revenue nature or a payment for parting with a capital asset: see the judgement of Rowlatt J. in Ryall v Hoare 8TC521. It may be - I say no more - that, had the claim been put that way, the Crown would have succeeded.’
The Court of Appeal approved Cross J’s judgment in full.