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HMRC Describe FATCA Case as 'Baseless'

According to Mishcon de Reya lawyer Filippo Noseda, HMRC have described a case against the UK’s implementation of FATCA as 'baseless' and an 'abuse of process'

Published on September 29, 2020

Lady Justice

The UK tax body, HMRC, has described a legal challenge against FATCA as "baseless" and an "abuse of process", in a response described by lawyer Filippo Noseda as "outrageous".

If you've been following the case, you'll be aware that Jenny, an American born British citizen, has been raising funds for a legal challenge against the implementation of FATCA in the UK. The case has been taken on by Noseda and his firm, Mishcon de Reya.

In a letter by Noseda to the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), dated September 28, Noseda reveals that HMRC sent a reply to Jenny's case on September 25. Noseda writes that:

"According to HMRC, a legal challenge against the excesses of FATCA based on the fundamental rights enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) is 'groundless and in large part comprise an abuse of process'. HMRC also considers that 'no court would make an order which would require HMRC to act unlawfully' (i.e. in breach of its obligations under the US-UK intergovernmental agreement)."

Noseda calls on the EDPB to act, describing HMRC's response as displaying "Utter disregard for the opinion of EU data protection authorities and the European Parliament". Going on to describe the situation surrounding FATCA as "Kafkaesque", Noseda argues that the EDPB's "steadfast refusal to intervene in this debate" needs to change. A key pivot of the case has been the potential disconnected between FATCA and the EU's rules on data protection, with Noseda previously describing FATCA as a “Data Privacy Disaster Waiting to Happen”.

Noseda closes his letter by saying that "It is now time for the EDPB to act and assume its responsibilities".

Noseda's letter, alongside his correspondence with other UK and EU bodies on the FATCA case, can be found at www.mishcon.com/news/correspondence

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