Here we go again. Last week HMRC lost a further appeal case before the tax chamber's first tier tribunal.
In Pantelli v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs  1 WLUK 42 Mr George Pantelli was appealing against penalties imposed for the late filing of his self-assessment tax returns for two years. But before the obligation to file a self-assessment return can legally arise, the taxpayer must be sent a notice by the Revenue requiring that to be done (section 8 of the Taxes Management Act 1970). No notice, no penalty.
Mr Pantelli claimed that he had not been sent the requisite notice for either tax year. In order to defeat that argument, the Revenue had to prove that it was more probable than not that it gave the notice to him. Adequate evidence of this, held the tribunal judge, was a necessity and not a luxury. However, the Revenue failed in this appeal to produce any witness evidence that the notice had been given. That being so, Mr Pantelli's appeal succeeded and the penalties were quashed.
For other recent decisions on penalties and challenging the Revenue, see http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/search/label/tax%20appeals