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01 December 2015 / Keith M Gordon
Issue: 4529 / Categories: Forum & Feedback

Correspondence from readers on topical subjects.

More mercy

I agree with the suggestions made in “The quality of mercy” (Readers’ Forum 5 November 2015 page 24) but would question the need to show “exceptional circumstances” to prove a reasonable excuse. Although Toby Jug is correct that HMRC often dismiss reasonable excuse claims in the absence of such circumstances the tribunals regularly make clear that this is to apply the incorrect test. See the recent decision in Barrett [2015] UKFTT 0329 (TC) at 153 and 154.

Another challenge might attract the tribunal’s interest and justify a late appeal. This is the possibility that the penalty notices are (at least in part) invalid due to HMRC’s failures to comply with the statutory requirements. This is particularly relevant to the 2010/11 penalty which is governed by FA 2009 Sch 55. As far as the previous year is concerned it is...

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