About this blog

Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Monday 5 June 2017

Revenue Slips Up

Here's another one, just like the other ones! See http://www.breakinglaw.co.uk  In a decision just published by the First-Tier Tribunal Tax Chamber *  the taxpayer was told by the Revenue that he was under investigation. After two meetings with him, the Revenue claimed to have sent him a notice to produce information and documents. When there was no response, the Revenue imposed a £300 penalty on him. The taxpayer had never acknowledged the notice or given any indication that he was aware of it despite subsequently writing to the Revenue. The taxpayer appealed against the notice.

The appeal was successful and the penalty quashed. The Revenue had not proved that the notice had been sent and received. Often receipt will be presumed where there is evidence of posting. But the Revenue had failed to prove either that they had posted the notice or that the taxpayer had received it.  Had they proved these facts, the penalty would still have been quashed because the notice had been so poorly drafted that, if received by the taxpayer, he would not have known precisely what was being required of him. The notice also proceeded on the erroneous basis that the taxpayer could be expected to produce documents or information held by third parties including companies of which he is or was a director. Those documents and that information were the property of the companies, nobody else.

I'll leave it there. I've got to get my 2016/17 return completed. Don't want to be late.

* The case is Anstock v HMR&C [2017] UKFTT 307 (TC)