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Poorly drafted notice

16 May 2017
Issue: 4599 / Categories: Tax cases

F Anstock (TC5784)

Requirements of an information notice

In April 2014 HMRC wrote to the taxpayer saying it had information that gave it ‘reason to suspect that you have committed tax fraud’. After a series of meetings and letters two years later HMRC sent a notice to the taxpayer seeking information. The taxpayer did not respond so HMRC imposed a £300 penalty against which he appealed saying he had not received the notice.

The First-tier Tribunal decided the notice was not valid. HMRC could not produce evidence to show that it had been sent or received. It assured the tribunal that it had but the judge (Geraint Jones QC) said: ‘Assertions of advocates do not amount to evidence.’ On this basis alone the taxpayer’s appeal had to succeed. However the judge criticised the wording of the notice:

‘The notice offends just about every tenet for the proper...

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