Peter Buchanan Limited and Macharg v McVey: 1954

(Supreme Court of Ireland) The plaintiff was a company registered in Scotland put into compulsory liquidation by the revenue under a substantial claim for excess profits tax and income tax. The liquidator was really a nominee of the revenue. The defendant director had realised all the company’s assets and having paid all the debts save the revenue, had the balance transferred to himself to his credit with an Irish bank. He moved to Ireland. The action appeared to seek to recover the balance from the defendant at the instance of the company directed by the liquidator.
Held: The director’s actions were dishonestly intended to defeat the claim of the revenue in Scotland as a creditor. However though the action was in form an action by the company to recover these assets, it was found ‘For the purpose of this case it is sufficient to say that when it appears to the court that the whole object of the suit is to collect tax for a foreign revenue, and that this will be the sole result of a decision in favour of the plaintiff, then a court is entitled to reject the claim by refusing jurisdiction’ and as an attempt to enforce indirectly a claim to tax by the revenue authorities of another State, the action was dismissed.


Kingsmill Moore J


[1955] AC 516, [1954] IR 89


England and Wales

Cited by:

ApprovedGovernment of India v Taylor HL 1955
The Government of India sought to prove in the voluntary liquidation of a company registered in the United Kingdom but trading in India for a sum due in respect of Indian income tax, including capital gains tax, which arose on the sale of the . .
ApprovedIn re State of Norway’s application (Nos 1 and 2) HL 1989
The House considered an application by a foreign state seeking assistance in obtaining evidence here to be used in enforcing its own revenue laws at home.
Held: Rule 3 of the Convention encapsulated a ‘fundamental rule of English Law’, but did . .
FollowedQRS 1 APS and others v Frandsen CA 21-May-1999
The appellants were all Danish companies put into liquidation for asset stripping in contravention of Danish law. The respondent was resident in the UK and had owned them. The Danish tax authorities issued tax demands and the liquidators now sought . .
CitedWilliams and Humbert Ltd v W and H Trade Marks (Jersey) Ltd HL 1986
There had been an expropriation by Spanish decrees of shares in a Spanish company whose English subsidiary had rights in trade marks which it had sold to a Jersey company. The Spanish and English companies sought certain relief in relation to the . .
CitedHolland v Lampen-Wolfe HL 20-Jul-2000
The US established a base at Menwith Hill in Yorkshire, and provided educational services through its staff to staff families. The claimant a teacher employed at the base alleged that a report on her was defamatory. The defendant relied on state . .
CitedHill (As Trustee In Bankruptcy of Nurkowski) v Spread Trustee Company Ltd and Another CA 12-May-2006
The defendants sought relief for transactions entered into at an undervalue. The bankrupt had entered into charges and an assignment of a loan account in their favour before his bankruptcy, and the trustee had obtained an order for them to be set . .
CitedMbasogo, President of the State of Equatorial Guinea and Another v Logo Ltd and others CA 23-Oct-2006
Foreign Public Law Not Enforceable Here
The claimant alleged a conspiracy by the defendants for his overthrow by means of a private coup d’etat. The defendants denied that the court had jurisdiction. The claimants appealed dismissal of their claim to damages.
Held: The claims were . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

International, Taxes Management

Updated: 30 April 2022; Ref: scu.225455