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20 February 2012
Issue: 4342 / Categories: Tax cases
Renaissance Accountancy Services Ltd (TC1779)

The appellant was an accountant who began in business in November 2010. As an accounting services provider she was required to register under the money laundering regulations but assumed there would be a period of grace before she had to do so.

She submitted her registration to HMRC in March 2011. The department imposed a penalty for late registration on the basis she should have signed on before beginning to provide accounting services.

The taxpayer appealed.

She said it was impossible to tell from the Revenue’s website when registration was required and that the site should be much clearer on the matter.

The First-tier Tribunal said ‘In principle ignorance of the law is no excuse’. Even if the appellant had no idea she was supposed to register it would not be a reason to set aside the penalty.

But the tribunal noted the appellant knew...

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