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Costs awarded against HMRC

25 April 2014
Issue: 4449 / Categories: Tax cases , tribunal costs , Admin

N Bogle (TC3341)

The taxpayer was late paying his self assessment tax. He claimed reasonable excuse saying his wife had fallen gravely ill between the end of January and the middle of February. She required major surgery and he had to care for her.

HMRC refused to accept the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse. The matter was listed for hearing before the First-tier Tribunal – but the Revenue later accepted there was a reasonable excuse and the appeal was cancelled.

The taxpayer claimed £2 000 as costs of preparing for the hearing – calculated at 42 hours at almost £50 an hour – aruing the tax authority had acted unreasonably.

The First-tier Tribunal noted HMRC have “always maintained that… to claim a reasonable excuse the taxpayer would have to show something exceptional prevented compliance with the rules such as an unexpected serious illness”.

The wife’s poor health...

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