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Judicial Review for London rates relief

Discussion in 'Scientology Property Tax' started by Anonymous, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    I see where they are coming from now on getting clarification from the government. They see the word "charity" in the LGFA 1988 and they know that predated the 2006 Charities Act where they think the definition of charity was changed so that it "(b) falls to be subject to the control of the High Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction with respect to charities". So they are wondering whether the LGFA 1988 still allows foreign charities to benefit from mandatory rates relief or whether what they think is the new law that defines a charity needs to be applied (i.e. no foreign charities allowed to benefit since 2006). What nobody seemed to know was that the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation v CIR case decided in 1956 set the precedent that a charity could not benefit from a tax break (in this case income tax) unless it was established in the UK and by "established" they defined it as being subject to control of the High Court. Since that case then any charity getting any tax break had to be "established" in the UK and by that it had to be subject to the control of the High Court. There was no change in the law to redefine what a charity was. It was a reiteration of case law. No foreign charity in the UK should ever have got mandatory rates relief since 1956. But now a registered charity in another EU member state could argue against this and win in the European Court as this would be a restriction of the flow of money from one member state to another.

    Fuck - why did I do physics when I could have done law?
  2. Anonxmous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Link? Awesome if true, but it contradicts the advise that CoL got from Central Govt.

    http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/2E40DBCF-533A-488C-B12B-240875A43CCB/0/AU_Letter100810.pdf
  3. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Yes, I read that letter. The person writing it obviously did not know about the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation v CIR case and its implications. Since 1956 then no foreign charity is entitled to tax breaks in the UK.

    Yes I wish I COULD link to it as it is a very important case but ti is not webbed anywhere in its entirety. You only get snippets of it. Search on "Dreyfus" in the document below.

    http://www.swarb.co.uk/lisc/IncoT19301959.php

    I think they were claiming they were a charity because they were seeking to uplift mankind by giving people the benefit of wearing clothes made from synthetic fibre or something like that and the Inland Revenue showed them the two fingers.
  4. Anonymous Member

  5. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    LMGTFY :-/ Consider me told.

    Okay,
    Wow. Fairly slam dunk (assuming not appealed etc) - how is it we can't find someone in CoL to namefag for the Judicial Review??!! I really want to give it to those arrogant cunts.
  6. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    No, the decision was never appealed. It became more of the case law that makes up charity law and this is where the Charities Act 2006 got its definition of "charity" from.

    Even Hong Kong uses it.

    http://www.ird.gov.hk/eng/tax/ach_tgc.htm
  7. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    although it might be overridden by EU law, is the issue.
  8. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    (although not the issue for COSREC as COSREC isn't a charity anywhere).
  9. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    It probably would be if COSRECI were REGISTERED as a charity in any of the EU member states but otherwise not. The EU law the QC was babbling on about is to prevent restrictions on money flow between EU member states. Not between member states and outside territories.
  10. Sponge Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Which is why you can write, in big red crayon over QC Crow's whole analysis, the word MOOT.

    To reiterate, for the benefit of CoL reading this:
    In summary this is how it went down for COSRECI from its inception....

    COSRECI Trustees declare in their articles of incorporation (not in a EU country but in South Australia) that they are "established for charitable purposes". Big deal. Some words. Turns out that at no time since its incorporation has it had any actual trading purpose, charitable or otherwise, in South Australia [not even an EU country anyway]. This year, 2010, there was an actual admission in the form of a letter to 7News from the Australian branch of the Church of Scientology which confirms the lack of registered charitable status for COSRECI in South Australia [not an EU country anway] citing government sources showing lack of any listing. [incidental: this admission came about after 7News exposed the fact that an address for COSRECI turned out to be an Adelaide suburban home of which the owner knew nothing about scientology or COSRECI. Hellooo?]. All it's physical property and core financial operations are in the UK where it is also NOT a registered charity. Are we making ourselves clear, City of London? Hello! McFly?
  11. Random guy Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    INAL, but this seems like an very strong case to me.
  12. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    We still need a complainant for Judicial Review though.

    Needs to be a UK citizen who is already namefagged.

    We could apply for a 'protective costs order' (which means the complainant would not have to pay the City of London's costs if we lose). The criteria are:

    which seems to me to fit the situation
  13. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Any suggestions?
  14. AnonLover Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    /bows to Roland's almighty brain... this shi- is nailed down now.

    brainstorming suggestions for finding a UK namefag... we obviously need to dig deep. what about a post to ARS, a harpoon to WBM asking for a blog post announcement on his site, and/or posting free ads wherever the general public in the right local area might see it.
  15. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    go for it.

    there is no specific local area - anywhere in the UK is fine.

    Roland - I sent the LG Ombudsman a link to your Big Document as part of the complaint.
  16. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    What about drafting something (press release) for the media as well as drafting something for MP's?
  17. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    suggest draft something in advance for the LGO decision because that's more of a news story.

    it can only go two ways so we could prepare for both.

    those ways being:

    1) we win

    2) CoL wins, or the LGO declines to investigate

    Ok that's three ways technically.
  18. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Something might emerge very soon from a person who is in contact with me who is definitely eligible for legal aid. We can wait for a bit to see what comes out of it.
  19. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    When I go directly for the CoL in the form of an official complaint then I will be aiming to blow away the legs from underneath them (in the nicest possible way, of course). They either change their style and respond properly and promptly or get the Ombudsman take them apart. I've had it up to here with that bunch of stupid kids. I've been all nice so far but now they will find I have a sharp edge.
  20. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    I've just been having a read of the Legal Opinion of Jonathan Crow QC.
    http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/NR/r...4E5C-994F-69341EE892C4/0/AU_Opinion151008.pdf

    The very first sentence reads: "The City Corporation is seeking advice as to the availablility of mandatory non-domestic rate relief under s. 45(6) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988...."

    He really means s. 45(6) and not s. 43(6) as per a later quote. He thinks the building is unoccupied. Did the CoS tell the CoL that the building was unoccupied? Was their inspection of the premises to make sure that the building was not in use? I am confused.

    Edit: I read the Legal Opinion a second time and thought about it and I agree that the CoL need instructions from central government and their support if they are to impose the collection of non-domestic rates as it is testable in Court as placing a restriction on their right to follow their religion. It gets very mixed up with the different laws and different Acts and different circumstances. Ideally the government should have responded to say that foreign charities are not entitled to non-domestic rates relief but they have not instructed the CoL in that regard and are not supporting them so they are exposed.

    I'll explain further my thinking.

    If they were a place of public religious worship then they would get a non-domestic rates EXEMPTION if they could get registered as such. They could try going down this path but they know the form of their "religion" is different to this so they go down the religious=charitable route and ask the CoL for charitable rates relief. Now they know and the CoL knows that what they do is not charitable. But if they rightly imposed non-domestic rates on their property then they might run foul of the European Convention on Human Rights Articles 9 and 14 on freedom of religion and discrimination grounds.

    http://www.hri.org/docs/ECHR50.html

    This has already been tested in court but it could get tested again. The clams would likely lose but they could get lucky. Imposing a tax on one religion but not on others could be seen as discrimination against that religion. That one gets a tax exemption because they are a place of public religious worship (rather than getting mandatory rates relief) is a matter of form but not of substance. One gets taxed and the other not. That is the substance of it. Taxing them, although it does not prevent them following their religion, places a limitation on it and a limitation on those who follow that religion. I know this should be to do with being a charity or not and whether it is for the public benefit but the substance of this is still that one religion is being taxed while the other is not. Sure, one religion might be charitable in nature and the other not but Articles 9 and 14 imply that they should be treated the same. If we are to be honest with ourselves, there is nothing charitable going on inside a christian church. They get tax relief because they are a place of public religious worship. That's what they do. So they aren't charitable and neither is Scientology so it could be discrimination to give the christian church rates exemption but to impose a tax on the scientologists. The CoL needs to consult with central government and make sure they both understand the issues and act in concert. The Legal Opinion recommends this. They have written to central government for clarification and have not got a helpful reply. The CoL collects this tax on behalf of central government and central government have effectively responded that they don't want to collect tax on this property so the matter is closed.

    That's what I think at the moment in any case.

    Edit: Looking at the response from central government.

    http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/NR/r...-488C-B12B-240875A43CCB/0/AU_Letter100810.pdf

    ...they are effectively saying that the Act might also have intended to cover foreign charities so long as they were doing charitable things in the UK.

    Edit: I don't think the CoL dare do anything until they get a full response from this letter they sent to central government.

    http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/NR/r...-4AED-9C50-F5064030DEC0/0/AU_Letter120809.pdf
  21. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Roland - that's an interesting point - are you saying that there's *exemption* from rates that is different from mandatory relief? Links to docs for more info please?

    Need to remember that what they applied for was mandatory relief, and for that they need to be using the premises for charitable purposes, and for those purposes to be charitable there needs to be public benefit in what they do. Which there isn't, so QED.
  22. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Or is prepared to be...

    Excellent! Linx? At what point in the process does such an order get (1) filed (2) ruled upon?
  23. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Places of public religious worship are exempt if they can be registered as such. See my document. It is all explained in there with all the links.
  24. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    While this is almost certainly true - Given the choice (which seems improbable at best) a CoL taxpayer might avoid a more complex debate about standing. Since CoL is probably the least residential part of London, I'm happy to roll with the fact that we won't find one.
  25. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Yes, BUT - the courts would have to be very very very careful here - if let let the Scilons through the 'worship' gate, then ANY business that promotes a philosophy could argue that it's office and training and practice activities are also equivalent. Hell, even the London Stock Exchange could probably make a case.

    I strongly suspect that the court would look to other aspects that define worship, like gathering together on a regular basis, free access to all comers who wish to partake, etc.
  26. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    See Roland's doc - top link here

    There are three relevant grounds
    -Mandatory - section 43 - charitable
    -Discretionary - section 47 - not for profit
    -Place of Worship - schedule 5
  27. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Or a charity. Any place that gives people gainful employ and pays them could claim that this is a charitable act that helps those people, their families and those they do business with so any place that employs people is a charity and entitled to mandatory rates relief.

    Last time I checked on St. Mary's church in Walthamstow village, the door was locked. How can it be a place of public religious worship if they lock the public out?
  28. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    I can't link, WWP is being stupid. Google for
    judicial+review+protective+costs+order

    MUI that the order can only be applied for once the court papers (for the main case) have been filed. Would need legal advice on this obviously.

    Re COSREC 'Place of Worship' relief - I see. But they didn't apply for that, they applied for 'mandatory relief' with a claim they're 'for charitable purposes', so it isn't an issue, no?
  29. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Here ya go.

    Judicial review protective costs order
  30. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    A work round for the problem.

    If you have link/s in your post, do the post as usual, then as the post loads up, just open the thread in a new tab and you can check if the post you made did post or not.
  31. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    ... and then if it didn't? doing it again doesn't work.
  32. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    ...
  33. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Have heard back from Brit Mom


    So I think we can rule her out.
  34. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    I'm looking at the timings of the letters sent to and got back between CoL and HMG and the delays are amazing:

    http://forums.whyweprotest.net/329-.../fois-dox-released-so-far-rates-relief-72322/

    HMG still hasn't given a proper response to the letter sent 12 August 2009. No wonder the CoL decided to continue with the mandatory rates relief. I don't blame them. It seems to me to be the fault of HMG.

    I am going to duck out on putting my name to a complaint to the Ombudsman or a Judicial Review purely because of this lack of action by HMG and because I feel that the CoL can not act to stop mandatory rates relief until they get clear instructions from HMG but feel free to use all the stuff I have written so far to do your own.
  35. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Wouldn't be you putting you name to the complaint Roland.
  36. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

  37. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    Possibly. It's a silly situation. Both CoL and HMG are to blame. If CoL had done the investigation prior to decision making as they should have done then they would know that CoS is not a charity anywhere. That it exists in Australia as a non-profit association in name only and that they conduct all their business in the UK and that they could not be registered as a charity in the UK even if they wanted to as their practices are manifestly not for the public benefit as per the Charity Commission decision in 1999. This would have resulted in the CoL deciding not to extend rates relief. But instead they get a Legal Opinion and then ask for clarification from HMG but don't get this clarification even though a year has passed.
  38. Anonymous Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    I'm confused by this - They sought (12 Aug 2009) and received (10 Aug 2010) an opinion from HMG.
  39. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    I wish we could undermine this European Convention on Human Rights thing. How about you pretend you are a Scientologist "parishioner" taking services at 146 QVS and apply to the European Court on a discrimination issue because the CoL decided against granting the full 100% tax relief on 146 QVS on the grounds of cost. Tell them that other religions effectively get 100% relief because they are exempt from non-domestic rates and that as a Scientologist you are being discriminated against by the local authority because in having to find money to cover that 20% rates you are being restricted in the practise of your religion through this cost and being discriminated against compared to other religious congregational members whose buildings are exempted.

    The all or nothing approach.
  40. RolandRB Member

    Re: Judicial Review for London rates relief

    They only received an opinion that in the view of HMG, mandatory rates relief might also be applicable for foreign charities. But the first response they got said that they intended to consult HM Treasury and HMR&C and the last sentence read "As soon as we have any further information, I will update you". They never updated them.

    http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/NR/r...-404F-870E-BE9F220FD094/0/AU_Letter080909.pdf


    http://forums.whyweprotest.net/329-.../fois-dox-released-so-far-rates-relief-72322/

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