In Reh (Earl of) v Revenue Commissioners

 
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High Court

Supreme Court

Iveagh v. Revenue Commrs.; and Revenue Commrs. v. Iveagh.
THE RIGHT HON. EDWARD CECIL, EARL OF IVEAGH
Appellant
and
THE REVENUE COMMISSIONERS
Respondents
and
THE REVENUE COMMISSIONERS
Appellants
and
THE RIGHT HON. EDWARD CECIL, EARL OF IVEAGH
Respondent
continued in the Names of the Right Hon. Rupert Edward Cecil Lee, Earl of Iveagh, the Hon. Arthur Ernest Guinness, the Right Hon. Walter Edward Guinness, and Christopher Harry Bland, Esq., the Executors of the Will of the Right Hon. Edward Cecil, Earl of Iveagh, who died on the 7th October,1927 (1)

Revenue - Income tax - Super tax - Case stated - Jurisdiction of Special Commissioners - Whether person "domiciled" or "resident in" Irish Free State - Person having residences in both England and the Irish Free State - Questions of law or fact - Citizen of Irish Free State - Jurisdiction of High Court on hearing case stated - Income Tax Act,1918 (8 & 9 Geo. 5, c. 40), sect. 149, Sch. D., par. 1 (a), rules 2 (a)and 3 of Rules applicable to Case IV, rule 3 (a) of Rules applicable to Case V - Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstt ireann ireann) Act,1922 (No. 1 of 1922), Sch. I., Art. 3 - Finance Act, 1925 (No. 28 of1925), sect. 12.

Cur. adv. vult.

Sullivan P.:

This is a case stated under the Income Tax Act, 1918, sect. 149, and the Finance Act, 1925, sect. 12, by the Commissioners for the Special Purposes of the Income Tax Acts. It raises for the opinion of this Court certain questions which were determined by such Commissioners on an appeal by the late Earl of Iveagh from a decision of the Revenue Commissioners, upholding assessments made upon him in respect of income tax for the years ending the 5th April, 1924, 1925, 1926, and 1927, and in respect of super tax for the years ending 5th April 1924, 1925, and 1926. The Commissioners for the Special Purposes of the Income Tax Acts determined:

(1) That the appellant was domiciled in Saorstt ireann ireannin each of the years of assessment from 1923-24 to 1926-27, inclusive, within the meaning of Rule 2 (a) of Case IV, and Rule 3 (a) of Case V of Schedule D of the Income Tax Act, 1918.

(2) That the appellant was a citizen of Saorstt ireann; ireann;that he was ordinarily resident in Saorstt ireann ireann in the years of assessment 1924-25, 1925-26, and 1926-27; and that he was not ordinarily resident in Saorstt ireann ireann in the year of assessment 1923-24 within the meaning of Rule 2 (a) of Case IV, and Rule 3 (a) of Case V of Schedule D of the Income Tax Act, 1918.

(3) That the appellant was a person residing in Saorstt ireann ireann in the years of assessment 1924-25, 1925-26, and 1926-27, and was not a person residing in Saorstt ireann ireann in the years of assessment 1922-23 and 1923-24 within the meaning of Rule 1 (a) of Schedule D of the Income Tax Act, 1918.

The representatives of the appellant and of the Revenue Commissioners were dissatisfied with this decision as being erroneous in point of law, and on their request the Commissioners for the Special Purposes of the Income Tax Acts stated this case for our opinion on questions of law, which they state as follows:

"(1) Whether the appellant was domiciled in Saorstt ireann ireann in the years of assessment?

(2) Whether, in so far as the question was one of fact, there was any evidence before us upon which we could find that the appellant was a citizen of Saorstt ireann ireann, and that he was ordinarily resident in Saorstt ireann ireann in the years of assessment 1924-25, 1925-26, and 1926-27; and that he was not ordinarily resident in Saorstt ireann ireann in the year of assessment 1923-24 within the meaning of Rule 2 (a) of Case IV, and Rule 3 (a) of Case V of Schedule D of the Income Tax Act, 1918; and whether, in so far as the question was one of law, we were right in so holding?

(3) Whether, in so far as the question was one of fact, there was any evidence upon which we could find that the appellant was a person residing in Saorstt ireann ireann in the years of assessment 1924-25, 1925-26, and 1926-27, and was not a person residing in Saorstt ireann ireann in the years of assessment 1922-23 and 1923-24 within the meaning of Rule 1 (a) of Schedule D of the Income Tax Act, 1918; and whether, in so far as the question was one of law, we were right in so holding?"

The evidence is set forth in great detail in the case stated. It appears that the appellant, the late Earl of Iveagh, was born in Dublin, and that at the date of his birth his father was domiciled in that part of Ireland which is now Saorstt ireann ireann. Upon the death of his father he became entitled, equally with his brother, to the brewery business at St. James's Gate; he also became entitled to a life interest in property situate at St. Stephen's Green, including the family residence. In 1871 he leased a house in Berkeley Square. London, which he furnished, and occupied as a residence. In 1873 he purchased the leasehold interest in the house and lands of Farmleigh, Castleknock, Co. Dublin, of which he acquired the fee-simple in 1877. He also bought some adjoining property in Castleknock, holding at one time about 700 acres, reduced by subsequent sales to about 166 acres. In 1876 he bought his brother's share and interest in the brewery business, of which he became sole owner, and he continued to actively supervise this business until 1886, when he sold it to Arthur Guinness, Son, & Co., Ltd.a company incorporated in England, and having its registered office in London. He acted as chairman of this company until 1890, when he resigned his position as chairman and director. In 1877 he acquired a leasehold interest in a house, 5 Grosvenor Place, London, to which he removed from his former residence. In 1888 he acquired landed property in the Barony of Iveagh, County Down, which has since been sold.

In 1890 the appellant transferred all his business papers, certificates, and financial papers from his Irish bank to his London bank. In the same year he acquired a leasehold term of 67 years in the house, 4 Grosvenor Place, London, adjoining his residence, No. 5 Grosvenor Place, and structurally connected the two premises. In 1891 he acquired a residence at Cowes, Isle of Wight. In 1892 he contracted to purchase the Savernake Estate in England for 750,000, but at the vendor's request this purchase was not completed. In 1894 he bought a very extensive property at Elveden, Suffolk, including a large residence and thirty square miles of land, for 300,000. He had a family vault on this estate, where his wife was buried and where he wished to be buried. In 1890 the appellant bought Heath House, Hampstead, and in 1925 the Kenwood Estate, Hampstead, as well as certain ground rents in Kensington, for which he paid 560,000. During the same periodthat is, subsequent to the year 1890the appellant expended 40,000 in building an annexe to his residence at St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, for the purpose of a ballroom, and purchased additional furniture; and in the year 1898 built a new room at Farmleigh at a cost of from 12,000 to 15,000, and renewed the furniture. The St. Stephen's Green property was settled in 1906, the appellant being appointed tenant for life. In 1915 he inherited from his brother, Lord Ardilaun, the Ashford Estate, Co. Galway, on which there is a large residence. The total value of the appellant's landed property in England is estimated at 1,250,000; that of his landed property in Ireland at 106,000.

Subsequent to the year 1890 the appellant, his wife, and his children while they were growing up, resided habitually in the appellant's residences in England. His visits to Ireland between the year 1890 and 1910 were not proved in detail, but they were stated to be short visits rather than long visits. He had rejoined the board of Arthur Guinness, Son, & Co., Ltd., in 1897, and resumed the chairmanship in 1902. Until 1923 ordinary board meetings of the company were held sometimes in London, sometimes in Dublin, and if appellant happened to be in Dublin he attended such meetings. During the period from 10th March, 1910, to the 5th April, 1927, the appellant spent in Ireland a total of 767 days. His length of residence in Ireland in each of the years of assessment in this case was as follows:1923-24, nil; 1924-25, 42 days; 1925-26, 19 days; 1926-27, 43 days.

The indoor staffs kept continuously at the appellant's residences in Saorstt ireann ireann were only such as were necessary for caretaking the premises, and when the appellant intended to occupy any of such residences a staff of servants had to be brought from London.

The appellant never exercised the franchise in Saorstt ireann ireann. In legal documents, and for business purposes, he gave his address as 5 Grosvenor Place, London. On the 25th of March, 1920, the appellant executed a deed poll, in which he declared that he had for many years wholly abandoned and relinquished his domicil of origin in Ireland, and had adopted, and intended to continue until his death, England as his only place of domicil.

The appellant was examined on the hearing of his appeal. He stated that in 1890 he came to the determination to live in England, and to make England his home and that of his family for all time, as distinct from a temporary residence; that he had no intention since then of ultimately returning to Ireland as a permanent home, though he liked to go there from time to time, and did not intend to cut himself off from using Farmleigh as a residence, or from going there for any indefinite period; that he never had any idea of making it his permanent home, or of establishing his permanent home in Ireland.

I do not profess to have recited all the facts which were before the Special Commissioners, but I think I have indicated the facts that were mainly relied on in the arguments before us.

The first question we are asked is whether the late Earl of Iveagh was domiciled in Saorstt ireann ireann in the years of...

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