Kahn and Another v Commissioners of Inland Revenue; In re Toshoku Finance plc: HL 20 Feb 2002

A company went into liquidation, being owed substantial sums by another company in the same group, but itself insolvent. A settlement did not include accrued interest, but was claimed to be taxed as if it had, and on an accruals basis. If so, was this an expense properly arising in the insolvency, and payable as a preferred debt?
Held: Debts arising from pre-liquidation were to be proved, but a debt arising in the administration should be paid in full. The issue had been settled by statute. The tax was a proper disbursement in the insolvency, and was payable in full. Whether debts should count as expenses of the liquidation is a matter for the discretion of the court.

Lord Hoffmann Lord Woolf CJ Lord Hutton Lord Hobhouse of Wood-borough Lord Rodger of Earlsferry
Gazette 21-Mar-2002, [2002] UKHL 6, Times 25-Feb-2002, [2002] 1 WLR 671, [2003] 1 AC 1, [2002] 2 All ER 113, [2002] 2 Cr App R 9, [2002] HRLR 23, (2002) 166 JPN 431, (2002) 166 JP 333
House of Lords, Bailii
Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 8(2), Finance Act 1996 Ch II, Insolvency Act 1986 115, Insolvency Rules 1986 (SI 1986 No 1925) 4.218(1) 4.220(1)
England and Wales
CitedIn re Watson, Kipling and Co ChD 1883
An assessment for rates had been made after the liquidation of the company upon property occupied by the company. The court rejected the submission of counsel for the rating authority that: ‘where a liability is incurred during the winding-up, that . .
ApprovedIn re Mesco Properties Ltd ChD 1979
The court considered whether corporation tax had to be paid as an expense of the liquidation in priority to other claims. In that case it had arisen not on profits but on chargeable gains, on sales of the company’s properties after the commencement . .
CitedIn re Mesco Properties Ltd CA 1980
Tax legislation provided that the company was chargeable to corporation tax on a capital gain arising in the winding up.
Held: The appeal failed. It was a tax which the liquidator was bound to discharge by payment, and the payment was a . .
CitedIn re London Metallurgical Co 1985
A costs order made against liquidators arising from proceedings they had taken, will usually have priority over the general expenses of the action. The list of expenses said nothing about the costs of litigation incurred by the liquidator or awarded . .
CitedIn re M C Bacon Ltd ChD 1990
A liquidator claimed that the costs of an unsuccessful attempt to set a floating charge aside should be paid out of the assets subject to the charge in priority to the claims of the charge holder.
Held: The rule was a complete statement of the . .
CitedIn re Atlantic Computer Systems Plc CA 1992
The chargor was a company which arranged with the chargee, a funding bank, that it should purchase equipment and let it on hire purchase to the chargor with permission to sub-lease to end users. The chargor charged to the chargee by way of security . .
CitedLewis v Commissioner of Inland Revenue and others CA 2-Nov-2000
The liquidator in a creditor’s voluntary liquidation sought a direction that he could take his costs of pursuing former directors in actions for wrongful trading and preferences, out of realised funds. It was held that nothing in the rules or Act . .
CitedIn Re Kentish Homes Ltd ChD 31-Mar-1993
The question was whether a post-liquidation liability to community charge on empty flats was an expense of the liquidation.
Held: The company was the chargeable person in respect of the flats for the relevant periods, but the liability was . .
CitedIn re Exhall Coal Mining Co Ltd CA 1864
Section 163 provided ‘any . . distress or execution put in force against the estate or effects of the company after the commencement of the winding up shall be void to all intents.’ After the presentation of a petition, the commencement of a . .
CitedIn re Progress Assurance Co Ex parte Liverpool Exchange Co CA 1870
Where offices had been let to a company which was ordered to be wound up by the Court, a distress was subsequently put in for rent by the lessors, under which the office furniture was seized.
Held: as possession of the offices had not, in the . .
CitedIn re Lundy Granite Co; Ex parte Heavan CA 1871
The landlord of Lundy Island, which was let to a third party, distrained upon goods of the company which had been left upon the tenant’s property. The distraint was for rent which had fallen due more than a year after the winding up order. The . .
CitedIn re Oak Pits Colliery Co CA 1882
The court examined the basis of the rule that the court has a discretion to order a liquidator to pay the full rent of a property he retained: ‘When the liquidator retains property for the purpose of advantageously disposing of it, or when he . .
CitedHardy v Fothergill 1888
Rent falling due after a winding up of the tenant was a future debt for which the landlord could have proved in the tenant’s liquidation. . .
CitedIn re ABC Coupler and Engineering Co Ltd (No 3) ChD 1970
The liquidator when appointed closed down the business which had been conducted on the premises, had the company’s plant and machinery valued and thought about what he should do.
Held: The rent did not become a liquidation expense until some . .
CitedIn re Downer Enterprises Ltd ChD 1974
The company was the assignee of a lease. The rent appears to have been payable in advance on the usual quarter days. The company went into liquidation in November 1971. At some time before April 1972 the liquidator instructed agents to market the . .
CitedRe HH Realisations Ltd ChD 1975
The liquidator of a company ceased to be liable to pay the rent under the company’s lease in full from the time it gave notice to the landlord that it was seeking authority to disclaim the lease, even though it remained in occupation for nearly two . .
CitedIn re Watson, Kipling and Co ChD 1883
An assessment for rates had been made after the liquidation of the company upon property occupied by the company. The court rejected the submission of counsel for the rating authority that: ‘where a liability is incurred during the winding-up, that . .
CitedIn re National Arms and Ammunition Co CA 1885
‘If the company retains the possession of property which would be rateable in the hands of anyone else, it is only reasonable that it should be rateable in the hands of the company . . the true test is whether there has been a beneficial occupation . .
CitedIn re Blazer Fire Lighter Ltd 1895
The liquidator had closed the business and done nothing on the premises except to instal a caretaker to protect them from vandalism. That was sufficient to continue the company in rateable occupation. So the rates were an expense of the liquidation. . .

Cited by:
CitedDigital Equipment Co Ltd and Others v Bower and Others ChD 4-Dec-2003
The liquidators had lost their legal action, and had been ordered to pay the present claimants their costs. They sought payment out of an insolvency services account in competition with the solicitors for the liquidators.
Held: An award of . .
CitedMcGrath and Honey v McMahon and Others, Re HIH Casualty and General Insurance Ltd and others CA 9-Jun-2006
The insurance company was to be wound up. It operated internationally but was registered in Australia. The Australian liquidator now sought an order for the transfer of assets held here to Australia.
Held: It was inevitable that cross border . .
CitedUnadkat and Co (Accountants) Ltd v Bhardwaj and Another ChD 11-Oct-2006
Section 651 was broad enough to enable the court to order that the costs of having the dissolution of a company declared void be treated as an expense in the winding-up, notwithstanding the decision of the House of Lords in Re Toshoku Finance UK plc . .
CitedIrish Reel Productions Ltd v Capitol Films Ltd ChD 10-Feb-2010
The petitioner’s winding-up petition had been dismissed on the defendant company being put into administration. The petitioner asked for its costs to be paid as an administration expense payable in priority to the administrator’s expenses.
CitedMcCartney and Unite The Union and Another v Nortel Networks UK Ltd (In Administration) ChD 22-Apr-2010
The administrators gave employees of the company notice of termination of their employment. Then administrators refused consent under para 43(6) to actions against the company in the Northern Ireland Industrial Tribunal for protective awards, unfair . .
CitedIn re Nortel Companies and Others SC 24-Jul-2013
The court was asked as to the interrelationship of the statutory schemes relating to the protection of employees’ pensions and to corporate insolvency.
Held: Liabilities which arose from financial support directions or contribution notices . .
ExplainedBloom and Others v The Pensions Regulator (Nortel, Re) ChD 10-Dec-2010
Applications for directions by the administrators of twenty companies in two groups, all raising the same common questions as to the effect of the Financial Support Direction regime created by the Pensions Act 2004 upon companies in administration . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Corporation Tax, Insolvency, Costs

Updated: 18 December 2021; Ref: scu.167631