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Poor online service

16 May 2011
Issue: 4304 / Categories: Tax cases , Admin
Louise Fernandez (TC1123)

The taxpayer tried to file her tax return online in January 2010 but found that she could not access the website. She contacted HMRC’s support line but did not receive a reply.

She eventually submitted a paper return in December 2010. HMRC issued two late filing penalties: one for not filing by 31 January and the second for still not having filed her return six months later.

HMRC claimed the taxpayer had emailed the VAT online services helpdesk in error and the department argued it was the taxpayer’s responsibility to ensure her tax affairs were dealt with correctly and on time.

It said the responsibility was not negated by her having sent two emails to the helpdesk. HMRC argued further that they could not reasonably be expected to reply to her emails before 31 January 2010.

The First-tier Tribunal...

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