HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

BIM20085 - Meaning of trade: general: use of case law

You should normally look on case law as a source of principle rather than as a source of facts to compare with those in your case. Case law on trading issues is extensive, but because each case depends on its own facts you will rarely find an exact match with the situation you are considering. Searching for factual comparisons may even be counter productive because the other side can often find some point of difference, however small, which is said to invalidate your comparison.

Case law is, however, a fruitful source of principle and the main points are considered in detail at BIM20095 onwards and at BIM20200 onwards in relation to the ‘badges of trade’ etc. You should aim to determine your case by applying the correct principles to the specific facts of the transaction.